Industries – OTC & Small Companies: First
Institutional Investor Research is part of the Delinian Group, Delinian Limited, 4 Bouverie Street, London, EC4Y 8AX, Registered in England & Wales, Company number 00954730
Copyright © Delinian Limited and its affiliated companies 2024

Accessibility | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Modern Slavery Statement

Industries – OTC & Small Companies: First


Mariko Watanabe


"I trust her insights completely."

There’s little question that Mariko Watanabe is “hitting on all cylinders,” as one New York–based portfolio manager puts it. The UBS researcher, who marks her eighth appearance at No. 1 in the past nine years — the one exception: 2007, when the category didn’t appear — initiated coverage on Seria Co. back in November 2011 with a buy rating, at a split-adjusted ¥835. Shares of the Gifu-based discount retail chain had already nearly doubled in the preceding six months, but she insisted they were still a bargain given Seria’s rapid-fire earnings growth. She was right, and through mid-March 2013, the stock skyrocketed to ¥2,100, for a whopping 151.5 percent gain that soared past the sector by 104.6 percentage points. While tracking approximately 100 companies, Watanabe is currently pounding the table on H.I.S. Co. She added the Tokyo-based travel services provider to her list with a valuation-based buy in October, at ¥2,512, after a drop in the number of travelers to China had caused shares to slip. “Overseas travel is expected to hit a record high of 184 million [in the year ahead],” she explains, and “the Japanese prefer package tours to booking by themselves.” By mid-March the stock had flown to ¥3,860, advancing 53.7 percent and outpacing the sector by 11.6 percentage points. — Ben Mattlin

Gift this article