(Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) will return to its pre-Lehman crisis dividend payout ratio of 30 percent, the Nikkei reported, quoting the company's Managing Officer Takuo Sasaki.
The automaker maintained a policy of paying out 30 percent of its earnings per share through fiscal 2007, but stopped publishing targets after the Lehman shock in 2008, the paper said.
Toyota Motor's payout ratio came in well above 30 percent even during the financial crisis as it continued to pay dividends despite the strengthening yen eroding its earnings, the Nikkei reported.
Sasaki, however, said, "to get investors to hold Toyota stock over the long term, we need stable dividends based on higher profits, not the kind of outlier payout ratios we had in the past."
With its earnings recovering, Toyota has decided to clarify its payout ratio target again, the Japanese daily said.
"Our earning power has recovered since the financial crisis, and we are strengthening it further," Sasaki said.
Sasaki, however, said the company was not looking at stock buybacks as a possibility, at least for now.
The company is resolved to keeping its operating profit at 1 trillion yen ($9.96 billion) or higher, even if the yen skyrockets or economic conditions deteriorate abruptly, Sasaki said.
($1 = 100.4250 Japanese yen)
Reporting By Sneha Banerjee in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila