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Industries – Beverages, Food & Tobacco: First

Naomi Takagi
"I like her very clear, easy-to-understand logic."

Naomi Takagi leads the lineup for a second straight year — and for the third time in four years. The UBS researcher covers 11 stocks and plans to raise that total to 15 by the end of this year. “Fundamentals are weak mainly because of the weakness of the yen, which leads to an increase in material costs,” Takagi explains. “Japanese food companies have little pricing power to offset this.” The 45-year-old is also cautious ahead of the rise in Japan’s consumption tax, which will increase from 5 percent to 8 percent next year and to 10 percent in 2015. However, she does see a few bright spots in the sector, specifically beer distributors and tobacco companies, which will benefit from “high exposure to markets overseas,” she says. “Naomi is a well-balanced analyst, having not only insightful long-term views based on companies’ intrinsic values but also mid- to short-term information, which helps us judge the timing of our investments,” explains one buy-side enthusiast. — Pam Baker

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