Masashi Morita Okasan
second team Eiji Maeda JPMorgan
third team Yuta Sakurai Nomura
runner-up Soichiro Fukuda Nikko Citi
Thanks in part to what clients call his “unique reports” and “original style,” Masashi Morita leaps from third place to seize first-place honors for the first time. Morita, 37, has been with Okasan Securities Co. since earning a master’s degree in economics at Waseda University in 1996. In October he recommended Nintendo Co., anticipating strong profits would follow November’s Japan-only release of hand-held gaming console Nintendo DSi. The stock did not fare as well as Morita expected, but its 6.9 percent dip through February outperformed the broad market’s loss by 9.0 percentage points. Eiji Maeda repeats in second place. The JPMorgan Securities Japan analyst downgraded arcade operator Namco Bandai Holdings to underweight in November, at ¥1,087, on slowing demand. The share price had slid to ¥904 by late February. Yuta Sakurai of Nomura Securities Co. drops from first to third but continues to impress investors with what one money manager calls his “balance of analysis.” In January 2008, Sakurai highlighted his buy recommendation on game maker Sankyo Co., as a good defensive play. By the end of February 2009, the stock had outpaced the broad market by 32.8 percentage points.