TOKYO, Feb 3 (Reuters) - Denso Corp, the world's second largest supplier of automotive parts, raised its annual operating profit forecast by 5.6 percent, slightly below expectations, as a weaker yen helped boost exports, resulting in foreign exchange gains.
Denso forecast a 380 billion yen ($3.73 billion) annual operating profit for the year ending March, up 44.8 percent from a year ago but lower than the average estimate of 384.7 billion yen in a Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S poll of 17 analysts.
Denso's nine-month operating profit rose 54.2 percent year-on-year to 289.9 billion yen after it saw an increase in car production in North America.
Denso is 22.3 percent owned by Toyota Motor Corp, which is also a major client. It also supplies parts to Honda Motor Co Ltd and General Motors Co as well as other big global automakers.
Denso shares were down as much as 2 percent after the numbers were released, hitting a six-week low of 5,230 yen.
The shares have risen by more than 75 percent since the beginning of last year, outpacing a 42 percent rise in Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei average.