The 2014 All-Japan Research Team: Machinery, No. 1: Junji Sakurada
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The 2014 All-Japan Research Team: Machinery, No. 1: Junji Sakurada


< The 2014 All-Japan Research Team

Junji Sakurada Mizuho Securities Group First-Place Appearances: 1

Total Appearances: 3

Analyst Debut: 2012 Mizuho Securities Group’s Junji Sakurada, 31, captures the top spot for the first time in just his third appearance on this roster, vaulting from runner-up and winning plaudits from portfolio managers for being willing to extend the boundaries of his job. In his refusal to be part of the consensus, Sakurada “is always trying to do something other analysts won’t do,” one client reports, such as “go on business trips and chase after managements who are usually not available in Japan, like Fanuc [Corp.’s]. So he often has information which won’t show up in the earnings numbers.” The analyst is bearish on the prospects for Fanuc, a Yamanashi-based manufacturer of factory-automation equipment and robotics that he has rated underperform since mid-February, when the shares traded at ¥16,545. Despite an expected recovery in earnings, he advises, “machine tool builders are increasingly going elsewhere for their automation needs, and the share price looks quite high.” He expects the stock to retreat to ¥14,200. Sakurada, however, is far more sanguine on buy-rated Yaskawa Electric Corp. The Fukuoka-based global electrical equipment manufacturing and engineering giant “looks to be headed for record-high profits,” he says, “thanks not only to an upswing in the order cycle for machine tools and robots, but also due to growth in orders for power conditioners for photovoltaic generation systems, which have been in a slump.” His price objective for the shares is ¥1,820, which amounts to a 36.7 percent premium to their mid-March value. Sakurada covered Japan’s machinery companies for Nikko Citi, Morgan Stanley MUFG Securities Co. and Goldman Sachs Japan Co. before joining Mizuho Securities in August 2012. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business and commerce from Tokyo’s Keio University.


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