The Bank of Japan's surprise decision to follow the U.S. Federal
Reserve's lead and launch a new round its own quantitative easing
lifted Asian and European stocks, and even buoyed the U.S. markets
in early trading Wednesday. Japan's central bank announced that it
will increase the size of its quantitative easing program by 10
trillion yen, or more than $12.6 billion. The increase in the plan
represents about 22 percent of the total stimulus to date.
Benzinga Market Primer, Wednesday September 19
U.S. listed stocks of Japanese companies are largely higher in
Wednesday morning trading. Here is quick look at three of the best
performing of those stocks so far this year: Nomura Holdings (NYSE:
), Mizuho Financial Group (NYSE:
) and Kubota (NYSE:
This Tokyo-based investment brokerage has market capitalization
of more than $14 billion. The long-term earnings per share (
) growth forecast is more than 32 percent and the operating margin
is better than that of competitor Bank of America (NYSE:
). But Nomura's return on equity is in negative territory. Short
interest is much less than one percent of the float. Only two
analysts surveyed by Thomson/First Call follow the stock. The
current share price has overrun the mean price target. The stock is
more than 24 percent higher year to date, but still off about 21
percent from the 52-week high back in March. Over the past six
months, Nomura has underperformed Bank of America and the broader
Mizuho Financial Group
This Tokyo-based bank has a market cap of more than $41 billion.
Its price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio is lower than the industry
average. EPS are forecast to grow more than 34 percent this year.
Short interest is much less than one percent of the float. Again,
only two analysts polled by Thomson Reuters follow the stock, but
one of them rates Mizuho at Strong Buy. Their mean price target is
more than 17 percent higher than the current share price, as well
as higher than the 52-week high. Mizuho is up almost 15 percent
year to date and has outperformed Japanese competitors Mitsubishi
UFJ Financial Group (NYSE:
) and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (NYSE:
), as well as Citigroup (NYSE:
), over the past six months.
This maker of machinery and industrial goods is headquartered in
Osaka and sports a market cap is about $13 billion. Its P/E ratio
is 16.8, and the return on equity is more than nine percent, which
is much less than that of U.S. competitors Caterpillar (NYSE:
) and Deere (NYSE:
). Again the short interest in Kubota is near zero. The stock
reached a 52-week high late last week but has pulled back more than
two percent since then. Still, the share price is up more than 18
percent in the past 90 days and more than 20 percent higher year to
date. Over the past six months, Kubota has outperformed Caterpillar
and Deere, as well as Tokyo-based Nippon Steel.
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