The 2014 All-Japan Research Team: Ceramics & Glass, No. 3: Akiko Kuwahara
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The 2014 All-Japan Research Team: Ceramics & Glass, No. 3: Akiko Kuwahara

< The 2014 All-Japan Research Team Akiko Kuwahara Bank of America Merrill Lynch First-place appearances: 0

Total appearances: 3

Analyst debut: 2012 In third place for a second consecutive year, Akiko Kuwahara maintains an “unbiased, unique perspective that can sometimes be very contrarian,” one investor reports. The Bank of America Merrill Lynch analyst also captures the top position in Paper & Textiles, for a fourth year running. Looking further into 2014, Kuwahara expects this sector to perform in line with or to slightly lag the Tokyo Stock Price Index. “If [liquid-crystal-display] glass-price decline speed becomes moderate in the June quarter, the share prices could see some upside,” she says. Aichi-based NGK Insulators is still among the researcher’s preferred names. The company manufactures honeycomb ceramics for use in the auto industry and supplies sodium-sulfur batteries to solar and wind farms. She reiterated her buy stance on NGK in August, believing that “the company’s earnings should be boosted by strong demand for catalytic converters for automobiles,” she recalls. “And earnings in the nonauto business were also showing signs of stability.” By the middle of March, the stock had bolted 43.9 percent, to ¥2,021, pacing the broad market by 44.5 percentage points.

See also Akiko Kuwahara's profile in the 2013 All-Japan Research Team.

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