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Industries – Auto Parts: First

Kunihiro Matsumoto of UBS is No. 1 for four years running. Supporters single out the 45-year-old analyst’s July 2009 upgrade of Denso Corp. from neutral to buy, at ¥2,690, after the Aichi-­based components manufacturer reported an earnings jump.

Kunihiro Matsumoto UBS

The buy side says: “Matsumoto-san’s accurate views help lift our returns.”

Kunihiro Matsumoto of UBS is No. 1 for four years running. Supporters single out the 45-year-old analyst’s July 2009 upgrade of Denso Corp. from neutral to buy, at ¥2,690, after the Aichi-­based components manufacturer reported an earnings jump. When the stock dipped below ¥2,300 last August, on concerns about vehicle sales following recalls by Toyota Motor Corp. of Aichi, Matsumoto pounded the table, citing rising demand from Detroit’s General Motors Co. and other automakers for ­Denso’s next-­generation, high-­margin fuel-­injection and hybrid-­electric power train systems. Sure enough, sales rallied, and through February the stock careered to ¥3,055, a gain of 13.6 percent since the upgrade that beat the sector by 4.2 percentage points. Constituents also applaud Matsumoto’s occasional visits to manufacturing plants throughout Asia — such as in India’s Delhi in October and China’s Guangzhou region in January. “He demonstrates the benefits of expansion into international hubs of production,” declares one backer.

Polling and tabulation of data as well as reporting on the sector profiles were completed before the March 11 Tohoku earthquake.

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