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Atsushi Yamaguchi finishes on top for a seventh straight year.

Atsushi Yamaguchi UBS

second team Toshiyuki Johno Nikko Citi

third team Harunobu Goroh Morgan Stanley

runners-up Kazuhiro Harada Mitsubishi UFJ; Takashi Murata Daiwa Institute

Atsushi Yamaguchi finishes on top for a seventh straight year. The UBS analyst high­lighted his buy recommendation on Hitachi Metals in January 2008, at ¥1,438, on strong demand for steel. The stock shot up 27.7 percent, to ¥1,837, in July before starting to slide, tumbling to ¥530 in December, when Yamaguchi downgraded it to neutral. It then gained 5.7 percent through February. “I reacted slowly to the global crisis,” admits Yamaguchi, 43. Yet clients praise his frequent visits and prompt responses. ­“He’s very useful to my understanding,” affirms one buy-side ­backer. Nikko Citi’s ­Toshiyuki Johno, who repeats in second place, “has good contacts with companies’ top managements,” notes one ­money man­ager. Johno downgraded Mitsubishi Materials Corp. to neutral in February 2008, citing declining demand for copper. By late February 2009 the share price had dropped 50.7 percent, slightly ahead of the sector’s 52.2 percent plunge. In third place for a second straight year is ­Harunobu ­Goroh of Morgan Stanley Japan, praised by one investor for his “broad, in-depth knowledge.” Goroh downgraded Mitsui Mining & Smelting Co. to sell in November 2007 and high­lighted the call repeatedly thereafter, on rising competition and earnings pressure. The stock plummeted 63.9 percent in the 12 months through ­February.

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2009 All-Japan Research Team Rankings

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