Avex, NTT DoCoMo, Sojitz, Sony, Toshiba: Japan Equity Preview

The following companies may have unusual price changes in Japanese trading today. The country’s stock markets were closed on Dec. 31 and Jan. 3 for national holidays. Stock symbols are in parentheses, and share prices are as of the latest close. The information in each item was released after markets shut unless stated otherwise.

Nikkei 225 Stock Average dropped 3 percent in 2010, while the broader Topix declined 1 percent.

Avex Group Holdings Inc. (7860 JT): The Japanese record label said its pop star Ayumi Hamasaki got married. Hamasaki is the first artist in Japan to have top-ranked albums for 13 consecutive years after “Love Songs” topped the charts with projected sales of 180,000 copies. Avex rose 0.1 percent to 1,187 yen.

Circle K Sunkus Co. (3337 JT): The convenience store operator was raised to “neutral” from “underperform” by Kazunori Tsuda, an analyst at Daiwa Securities Group Inc. The stock advanced 0.8 percent to 1,303 yen.

NTT DoCoMo Inc. (9437 JT): Japan’s largest mobile phone operator plans to sell a tablet computer being developed by South Korea’s LG Electronics Inc., the Nikkei newspaper reported. NTT fell 0.7 percent to 141,800 yen.

Orient Corp. (8585 JT): Mizuho Financial Group Inc. (8411 JT) will buy preferred shares of Orient Corp. from Morgan Stanley and KKR & Co. for 29.8 billion yen ($366 million), according to a faxed statement from the Japanese financial- services company. Orient surged 9.2 percent to 95 yen. Mizuho sank 2.6 percent to 153 yen.

Sojitz Corp. (2768 JT): The trading company and Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp. are in talks to buy a stake in Lynas Corp., an Australian miner of rare-earths, Nikkei English News reported. Sojitz rose 0.6 percent to 178 yen.

Sony Corp. (6758 JT): The consumer electronics maker may pay $40 per share for Imax Corp., the operator of large-screen movie theaters, the Daily Mail newspaper reported. Sony declined to comment. Sony fell 1 percent to 2,927 yen.

Toshiba Corp. (6502 JT): The electronics maker expects to start sales of a tablet PC in the U.S. by the end of June at a price competitive with Apple Inc.’s (AAPL US) iPad, the Associated Press reported. Toshiba slid 0.2 percent to 442 yen.

To contact the reporters on this story: Norie Kuboyama in Tokyo at nkuboyama@bloomberg.net; Akiko Ikeda in Tokyo at iakiko@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Gentle at ngentle2@bloomberg.net.

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