2016 All-Japan Research Team: Metals, No. 3: Kazuhiro Harada
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2016 All-Japan Research Team: Metals, No. 3: Kazuhiro Harada


After two years as a runner-up, Kazuhiro Harada advances to third place.

< The 2016 All-Japan Research Team


Kazuhiro Harada

SMBC Nikko Securities

First-place appearances: 0

Total appearances: 8

Team debut: 2005

After two years as a runner-up, Kazuhiro Harada advances to third place, recording his first top-three appearance since 2006, when he was with Deutsche Securities. The 53-year-old researcher left that firm the following year and covered Japan’s metals shares at Mitsubishi UFJ Securities Co. before joining SMBC Nikko Securities in August 2010. He is popular with clients for his “long-term experience, vast knowledge of both the metals industry and individual companies, and deep and strong relationships with corporates,” in the words of one supporter. A portfolio manager in Hong Kong adds that “he understands the type of ideas I’m looking for and tailors his ideas to my trading style, with both short- and long-term calls.” Harada’s coverage universe contains 15 stocks, and his favorite in the group is Tokyo-based specialty metals and steel producer Hitachi Metals. In an active quest to improve earnings, management is “reshuffling its business portfolio,” he says, by building up lines where it has synergies and shedding noncore operations. Hitachi is also targeting European and U.S. markets for sales expansion by adapting new varieties of tool steel products to conform with standards there. Mergers and acquisitions undertaken over the past several years, moreover, should “gradually start to contribute to profits in the latter half of fiscal year 2016,” the analyst forecasts. Most immediately, February acquisitions of three North American medical equipment parts makers, subsidiaries of U.S.-based HTP-Meds, should give the company’s bottom line a positive jolt. He pegs Hitachi Metals at ¥2,350, which represents a 97 percent premium to the stock’s trading level in mid-March.

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