2016 All-Japan Research Team: Beverages, Food & Tobacco, No. 2: Hiroshi Saji
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2016 All-Japan Research Team: Beverages, Food & Tobacco, No. 2: Hiroshi Saji

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Mizuho Securities Group researcher Hiroshi Saji, 48, rebounds from third place to reclaim the No. 2 spot he held in 2014.

< The 2016 All-Japan Research Team

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Hiroshi Saji

Mizuho Securities Group

First-Place Appearances: 1


Total Appearances: 16


Analyst Debut: 2001


Mizuho Securities Group researcher Hiroshi Saji, 48, rebounds from third place to reclaim the No. 2 spot he held in 2014. He reports on 25 names across Japan’s beverages, food and tobacco industries and of late has been touting Megmilk Snow Brand Co., which is among the nation’s largest milk and dairy products suppliers. Trade liberalization under the Trans-Pacific Partnership, to which Japan is a signatory, poses limited risks for the Tokyo-based company, Saji advised in July, noting that Megmilk had added competitive potential as a provider of qualifying ingredients under the new national system of food health claim labeling that went into effect last April. Accordingly, he boosted his rating on the stock from neutral to buy. Sure enough, by the middle of last month, it had jumped 65.2 percent, to ¥2,692, against the domestic sector’s loss of 9 percent. Looking ahead, however, he counsels that “food companies enjoyed good earnings with profit margin improvement thanks to the success of the price hike last year, but they will likely face a challenge in valuation pressure at the peak of the price hike effect going forward.” Investors would do well to heed this warning, because Saji’s “calls on the food sector, especially in the small- to midcap space, have been extremely reliable,” one portfolio manager attests.



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