NEW YORK, FEB. 4 -- Chrysler Corp. reported an 8 percent jump in its fourth-quarter profit yesterday and said its revenue surged to record levels for the period.
The nation's third-largest auto maker also announced that its board had adopted a "poison pill" defense against takeovers, but chairman Lee A. Iacocca said the measure was not prompted by any moves against the company.
Chrysler said it had an after-tax profit of $350.2 million ($1.57 a share) in the final three months of 1987. Revenue totaled a record $7.67 billion, a 29.1 percent surge over a year earlier.
For the full year, Chrysler had a profit of $1.29 billion ($5.90), down 7.1 percent from 1986. But excluding 1986's one-time gain of $131.9 million from the sale of Chrysler's interest in the French auto maker Peugeot, profit was up.
Revenue for the year rose 16.3 percent to $26.28 billion.
In a meeting before the earnings were announced, the board voted to install a shareholder-rights plan to provide a defense against any unwanted takeover attempt. Commonly known as a "poison pill" plan, it would make a hostile bid prohibitively expensive by giving shareholders the right to buy stock in an acquiring company at a bargain price if the takeover were not supported by Chrysler management.
Iacocca told reporters that Chrysler had not received any expression of interest in a merger or acquisition. Instead, he said, "we did it because of volatility in the market."
The auto maker said its share of the U.S. car and truck market rose to 12.3 percent in 1987 from 11.7 percent in 1986. Chrysler's share of the truck market jumped to 15.9 percent in 1987 from 12.1 percent in 1986, largely because of the August 1987 acquisition of American Motors Corp.