The 2014 All-Japan Research Team: Electronics/Industrial, No. 2: Masaya Yamasaki
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The 2014 All-Japan Research Team: Electronics/Industrial, No. 2: Masaya Yamasaki

< The 2014 All-Japan Research Team Masaya Yamasaki & team Nomura First-place appearances: 3

Total appearances: 9

Team debut: 2006 Although Masaya Yamasaki of Nomura slips back to second place after three years at No. 1, he retains a loyal following and wins plaudits in particular for “clearly differentiating between opinion and fact,” as one fund manager says. Yamasaki is bullish on this group’s prospects, forecasting record earnings in the next few years from a multitude of drivers. These include “topline recovery and reorganization of group structures,” he says, as well as “business portfolio changes and reducing [of] fixed costs.” Moreover, the weaker yen is supporting overseas revenue growth, he notes, and companies are increasing their capital-expenditure and information-technology budgets, on the back of corporate earnings gains driven by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s economic policies. At the same time, the analyst explains, the growing prevalence of device connectivity to improve the productivity and quality of various services, automobiles, smart cards and meters, vending machines and the like will increasingly require greater capacity for data collection. Tokyo-headquartered Hitachi and Toshiba Corp., a long-standing favorite, are well positioned to benefit, he advises, given their robust storage operations. Yamasaki forecasts that Hitachi will post record operating income for the fiscal year that ended last month and lauds management’s restructuring efforts. Toshiba’s NAND flash memory business, meanwhile, is “generating good cash flow and margins in spite of tough market conditions,” he notes. Finally, another company he has long recommended buying, Mitsubishi Electric Corp., which also is based in Tokyo, has “a very good business portfolio,” Yamasaki contends, and a positive earnings-growth trajectory.

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