Industries — Beverages, Food & Tobacco: Third
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Industries — Beverages, Food & Tobacco: Third

Hiroshi Saji

Mizuho Securities Group

In third place for a second straight year is Mizuho Securities Group’s Hiroshi Saji — “one of the most experienced and reliable analysts in the sector,” proclaims one buy-side supporter. Saji upgraded Ajinomoto Co. from neutral to buy in May, at ¥1,068, on strong demand in emerging markets for the Tokyo-based company’s packaged foods and seasonings. By mid-March the stock had surged 22.7 percent, to ¥1,310. Saji remains bullish but is cautious on many other names. “Depreciation of the Japanese yen will have a negative influence on at least half of this sector,” he says, because of those companies’ inability to pass rising input costs on to consumers, who may slow their spending in response to the April 2014 increase in the consumption tax rate. — Pam Baker

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