The 2014 All-Japan Research Team: Plant Engineering & Shipbuilding, No. 2: Masanori Wakae
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The 2014 All-Japan Research Team: Plant Engineering & Shipbuilding, No. 2: Masanori Wakae

< The 2014 All-Japan Research Team Masanori Wakae & team Mizuho Securities Group First-place appearances: 0

Total appearances: 8

Team debut: 2007 Repeating in second place is Mizuho Securities Group’s Masanori Wakae, whom one investor hails as an all-around veteran analyst with a wealth of accumulated knowledge. “He has more than 20 years of valuable experience in the sector,” this backer says, “and he knows — and understands — the managements at all of the companies. He also has a proven record as a good stock picker.” These days, Wakae is recommending that clients stick with two of his longtime favorites: JGC Corp., a global hydrocarbons engineering concern based in Kanagawa; and Tokyo-headquartered engineering and heavy-duty equipment contractor Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. JGC has recently expanded its liquefied-natural-gas operations into North America and Russia, the analyst reports, and is enjoying “large-scale plant orders” from those markets. He forecasts that the company’s order book will expand in the fiscal year through March 2015 to a record ¥1.5 trillion ($14.6 billion). Meantime, it maintains a “relatively strong” market position in Asia, he notes. Overall, “we expect the company to continue to post record-high operating profit for fiscal years 2014 and 2015,” he advises. “Its earnings capabilities are among the best in the world.” His bullish price objective of ¥4,400 for JGC’s stock represents a 24.4 percent premium to its mid-March trading level. Regarding MHI, Wakae believes that ongoing structural reforms and strong prospects for sustained growth led by the power systems segment will continue to support robust profits for the manufacturer at least over the medium term.

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