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Industries – Auto Parts: First

Kunihiro Matsumoto
"He’s very diligent and very thorough — you always get the full story."

In first place for a sixth year running is Kunihiro Matsumoto, who “can look under the hood of a company and tell what’s really going on,” according to one enthusiast. The UBS analyst cites “demand recovery” — abetted by depreciation of the yen — to explain his bullish stance on Tokyo-based tire maker Bridgestone Corp. The shares bolted 50 percent this year through mid-March, outpacing the sector by 11.1 percentage points. Matsumoto, 47, also is urging clients to buy Denso Corp., a components manufacturer headquartered in Aichi, on the belief that “momentum and business expansion will work together for growth.” Year-to-date through mid-March, the stock price jumped 38.6 percent, from ¥2,973 to ¥4,120. — Paul Sweeney

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