The 2014 All-Japan Research Team: Auto Parts, No. 1: Kunihiro Matsumoto
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The 2014 All-Japan Research Team: Auto Parts, No. 1: Kunihiro Matsumoto

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< The 2014 All-Japan Research Team

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Kunihiro Matsumoto SMBC Nikko Securities First-Place Appearances: 7


Total Appearances: 12


Analyst Debut: 2003 When Kunihiro Matsumoto joined SMBC Nikko Securities from UBS in July, he took a six-year winning streak in this sector with him. Not missing a beat, the 48-year-old researcher earns his seventh first-place finish this year. Clients value Matsumoto's seminars and tours, citing in particular a session on nine-speed automatic transmissions. "He has good, broad connections with managements and knows all the companies well," one admirer says. "And he's very good at explaining how a company's business relates to its investment story." For his part, Matsumoto remains bullish on Tokyo-based tire maker Bridgestone Corp., a longtime favorite he recommends overweighting. Bridgestone should benefit, he says, from a recovery in demand and lower prices for raw materials. At ¥3,563 in mid-March the stock was off by 10.5 percent year to date, in line with the sector's performance. But Matsumoto expects the share price to climb to ¥4,300. Conversely, he has been urging investors to shun — or when sensible to sell short — Aichi-based Toyota Boshoku Corp., a manufacturer of interior components and textiles products whose biggest shareholder and primary customer is hometown giant Toyota Motor Corp. "Demand in the [Association of Southeast Asian Nations], especially Thailand, will be down," Matsumoto advises. Moreover, "Toyota's domestic production will be down as well." In mid-March, Toyota Boshoku's shares were trading at ¥1,019, falling 22.4 percent since year-end 2013 and not far off the analyst's ¥1,000 target price.


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