Kunihiro Matsumoto UBS
second team Eiji Hakomori Daiwa Institute
third team Arifumi Yoshida Nikko Citi
runners-up Shinji Kakiuchi Morgan Stanley; Yuki Kimura Goldman Sachs; Takashi Moriwaki Nomura; Takao Oshitari Mizuho; Kohei Takahashi JPMorgan
Thanks in part to his refreshing enthusiasm, as one investor puts it, Kunihiro Matsumoto of UBS repeats in first place. Matsumoto, 43, downgraded Denso Corp. to hold in August, at ¥2,755, largely on declining demand from the component suppliers top client, Toyota Motor Corp. By late February, Densos stock had slid 31.8 percent, to ¥1,878, but was still ahead of the sector by 6.3 percentage points. Eiji Hakomori, in second place for a second straight year, knows what we need, which is the latest information, cheers one buy-sider. The Daiwa Institute of Research analyst gets high marks for client service, but his stock picking is another story. Hakomori maintained an outperform rating on the sector for the 12 months through February, anticipating strong demand from China and emerging markets, but he was wrong: The sector plunged 45.9 percent and underperformed Japans broad market by 3.0 percentage points. Newcomer Arifumi Yoshida debuts in third. The Nikko Citi researcher is a good stock picker, declares one money manager. In July, Yoshida downgraded transmission manufacturer Aisin Seiki Co. to hold, on slowing demand from key client Toyota. The stock trailed the sector by 14.3 percentage points as of late February.