DETROIT -- Chrysler, the smallest of the American automakers, said Wednesday that its profit in 2012 soared to $1.66 billion -- about nine times as much as the $183 million it earned previous year.
The dramatic increase underscored the company's comeback from its government bailout and bankruptcy in 2009, when it was taken over by the Italian automaker Fiat.
In the fourth quarter alone, Chrysler said it earned $378 million, a 68 percent increase from $225 million in the same period in 2011. Revenue in the quarter was $17.1 billion, a 13 percent gain from $15.1 billion a year earlier.
"Chrysler concluded a very successful 2012 with a robust fourth-quarter performance," said Jesse Toprak, an analyst with the auto research site TrueCar.com. "The company was the only domestic automaker to gain market share last year."
Chrysler also benefited from having little exposure to the deepening economic crisis in Europe, where vehicle sales have fallen to the lowest levels in about 20 years.
The European problems, however, took a heavy toll on profits at Fiat, Chrysler's parent company.
Without Chrysler, Fiat said it would have lost 1.04 billion euros in 2012. But Chrysler's results helped Fiat earn a profit for 2012 of 1.41 billion euros, a 26 percent improvement over the 1.33 billion euros that Fiat earned the previous year.
In the fourth quarter, Fiat reported a profit of 388 million
euros. Without Chrysler's contributions, it would have lost 241 million euros.
Fiat owns a 58.5 percent stake in Chrysler. As of the middle of last year, Fiat consolidated Chrysler's results into the parent company's overall performance.
Chrysler, meanwhile, said its revenue for the year was $65.7 billion, a 19 percent improvement from $54.9 billion in 2011.

Almaden Minerals Up 57% Since I Highlighted It And There's Room To Run

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. (More...)
I have previously laid out my thesis for gold and precious metal appreciation as a result of the United States' addiction to debt and the endless easy money policies of the central banks, and thus the recent selloff in gold and silver stocks presents a buying opportunity. The most popular gold and silver ETFs, the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) and the iShares Silver Trust (SLV) are down 4.2% and 5.5% in the last three months, respectively. The ETFs that track the miners of these metals such as the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX) and the Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (GDXJ), are down even further in the last three months compared to the metals they produce, losing 14.3% and 15.7%, respectively, while the Global X Silver Miners ETF (SIL) is down slightly less, losing 10.7% in the last three months. Given this selloff and the long term-tailwinds that gold and silver prices have due to central bank stimulus, I have opined that a buying opportunity has arisen for the long-term investor in silver and silver companies, as well as the best of breed gold stocks.
In the present article I follow-up on a speculative gold exploration company that I first got behind back on August 8th, 2012, Almaden Minerals (AAU). When I first highlighted the stock, it traded at $1.94. The stock has had a major run to $3.04, appreciating 56.7% since my recommendation to buy. After reviewing its 2012 summary and presentation, I think the stock has more room to run.
Quick review of the company