2015 All-Japan Research Team: Trading Companies, No. 3: Yasuhiro Narita
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2015 All-Japan Research Team: Trading Companies, No. 3: Yasuhiro Narita

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In third place is Nomura’s Yasuhiro Narita, who held the top spot on this roster last year.

< The 2015 All-Japan Research Team

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Yasuhiro Narita

Nomura

First-place appearances: 4


Total appearances: 8


Team debut: 2008


In third place is Nomura’s Yasuhiro Narita, who held the top spot on this roster last year. Even so, “he is the most knowledgeable” analyst in this space, one loyalist insists. Last May, Narita reiterated his long-standing buy rating on Mitsui & Co., Japan’s No. 2 trading house, crediting the company’s high return on equity and projected dividend increase. Management of the Tokyo-based chemicals, machinery and metals producer forecast at the time that its annual dividend for the fiscal year through March 2015 would rise from ¥59 per share to ¥64, its highest level in nearly three decades. Mitsui’s shares were then trading at ¥1,463. They climbed as high as ¥1,820 in September before declining and have not regained that level. But the 40-year-old researcher still recommends them, attributing recent profit declines to falling oil and iron-ore prices and noting Mitsui’s strong cash generation and return on equity. The stock closed at ¥1,701 late last month; he believes that a price of ¥2,050 is justified. Narita also advises clients to buy the No. 1 trading company in Japan, Mitsubishi Corp. of Tokyo, which boasts more than 620 subsidiaries and affiliates operating across seven diverse business groups. In February he reported that the trading giant was enjoying competitive profits, particularly in non–natural resource areas, and restated his buy rating on the stock, at ¥2,216. Seven weeks later it had jumped 13.2 percent, to ¥2,508, besting its peers by 3.1 percentage points. Narita sees additional upside, pegging Mitsubishi at ¥3,040.



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