Sectors: Retailing/Convenience & Specialty Stores
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Sectors: Retailing/Convenience & Specialty Stores

Hiroshi Koba of Mitsubishi UFJ holds the top position for a third year running.

Hiroshi Koba Mitsubishi UFJ

second team Sho Kawano Goldman Sachs

third team Takahiro Kazahaya Deutsche

Hiroshi Koba of Mitsubishi UFJ holds the top position for a third year running. The 43-year-old analyst won investors over with what they call his “fair and objective perspective” and “access to top management.” In February 2009, Koba reiterated his long-­standing buy on Don Quijote Co., citing ongoing operational efficiencies and improving earnings stemming from the giant discounter’s 2007 acquisition of Nagasakiya Co. Through February 2010 the stock rang up gains of 87.8 percent and shot past the sector by a remarkable 77.9 points.

Sho Kawano repeats in second place. Lauded for “consistently exceptional stock picking,” in the words of one booster, the Goldman Sachs researcher upgraded Fast Retailing Co. from neutral to buy in September, at ¥10,580, on the apparel distributor’s rising sales. In January, after the stock had jumped 59.7 percent, to ¥16,900, Kawano downgraded it to neutral, on valuation. Fast Retailing’s share price subsequently slipped 11.2 percent, to ¥15,000, through February.

Deutsche’s Takahiro Kazahaya debuts at No. 3. Hailed by one impressed money manager for her “clear and forward thinking,” Kazahaya also urged clients to buy shares of Don Quijote in February, dubbing the shares a bargain at ¥1,198. By late February 2010 the stock had catapulted to ¥2,250.


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