2015 All-Japan Research Team: Technical Materials, No. 3: Wakako Sato
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2015 All-Japan Research Team: Technical Materials, No. 3: Wakako Sato

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This new category represents the combination of the previous Ceramics & Glass and Paper & Textiles sectors.

< The 2015 All-Japan Research Team

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Wakako Sato

Mizuho Securities Group

First-place appearances: 0


Total appearances: 3


Team debut: 2013


This new category represents the combination of the previous Ceramics & Glass and Paper & Textiles sectors. Last year Mizuho Securities Group’s Wakako Sato captured the No. 3 spot in the latter roster, and she wins the same position here. The 47-year-old researcher is “a forward-thinking analyst who takes the long view,” observes one portfolio manager. Indeed, among the ten Japanese names under her coverage, two Tokyo-based companies, Kao Corp. and Kuraray Co., have been favorites for some time. Kao makes consumer hygiene products, and when it expanded into health foods and other new markets in February, she highlighted her buy rating on the stock. It had already soared 57 percent during the preceding 12-month period, to ¥5,066, but she saw further upside. Sure enough, by late March it had jumped to ¥6,031. Sato’s enthusiasm about synthetic-fiber manufacturer Kuraray is in response to the rising profits the company is enjoying thanks to strong demand and lower material costs. Also in February, with the shares up 27.5 percent percent for the trailing 12 months, she deemed them still undervalued at ¥1,465 and urged investors to buy, raising her price target to ¥1,750. Kuraray closed at ¥1,615 late last month.



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