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OTC & Small Companies
For the fourth time in the past five years — this sector was not published in 2007 — Mariko Watanabe of UBS finishes in first place.
Mariko Watanabe UBS
second team Yoshihiro Ujihara Shinko
third team Taro Ishihara Daiwa Institute
For the fourth time in the past five years this sector was not published in 2007 Mariko Watanabe of UBS finishes in first place. Among the small-cap analysts, she knows the companies the best, declares one portfolio manager. Watanabe, 41, demonstrated that knowledge when she upgraded FP Corp. to buy in October, at ¥3,000, on the strength of the plastic-container manufacturers expanding market share. By the end of February the stock had soared to ¥4,480, up a whopping 49.3 percent during a period when the sector tumbled 15.6 percent. Yoshihiro Ujihara of Shinko Securities Co. rises from third place to second. Ujihara downgraded Star Micronics Co., a manufacturer of printers and other computer peripherals, to sell in January 2008, at ¥2,330, on declining demand. The stock had plunged 64.4 percent, to ¥830, by the end of February 2009. Previously unranked Taro Ishihara takes third place. The Daiwa Institute of Research analyst knows his companies very well and deeply, according to one satisfied buy-sider. Ishiharas best calls of the past year include a September buy recommendation on Watabe Wedding Corp., because of rising overseas demand for the companys wedding services. The stocks 56.3 percent gain through late February was pure bliss for investors.
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