Hidekatsu Watanabe of Mizuho Securities Group holds on the top spot on this roster and captures third place on the OTC & Small Companies lineup. The 48-year-old analyst possesses “a very solid knowledge of the company managements, history and corporate cultures and knows how to combine this with a view — more often correct than not — on the share prices,” one portfolio manager declares. Watanabe is bullish on Japanese medical device makers that export their products, particularly to the U.S. For instance, he urges clients to buy Sysmex Corp., which develops clinical testing equipment, because he expects the Hyogo-headquartered manufacturer to increase its share of the U.S. hematology market even as it is seeing steady growth in emerging markets, including China. He is similarly upbeat on Aichi’s Asahi Intecc Co., deeming this provider likely to continue gaining global market share in its main angioplasty guidewire business. A third medical equipment maker that is increasing its exposure outside its domestic market is Terumo Corp. of Tokyo. Watanabe is forecasting that the company will return to double-digit profit growth this fiscal year, which ends in March 2016, citing rising use of its high-margin Ultimaster drug-eluting stent and overseas expansion for recently launched products with cardiac and vascular applications.