Japan’s Nikkei 225 (NKY) Stock Average fell 154.81, or 1.8 percent, to 8,545.48 at the 3 p.m. close in Tokyo. The following were among the most active shares in the Japanese market today. Stock symbols are in parentheses after company names.
Chip-related firms: Advantest Corp. (6857) (6857 JT), Sumco Corp. (3436) (3436 JT) and other semiconductor-related firms slipped after the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index, which tracks the performance of 30 industry stocks, fell 3.4 percent on Sept. 30 to the lowest close since Aug. 25. Advantest, the world’s biggest maker of memory-chip testers, lost 6 percent to 797 yen. Sumco, a maker of silicon wafers for semiconductors, sank 7 percent to 683 yen. Dainippon Screen Manufacturing Co. (7735 JT), a chip-equipment manufacturer, fell 4.6 percent to 460 yen. Toshiba Corp. (6502) (6502 JT), a maker of flash-memory chips, slid 4.7 percent to 305 yen.
Contractors: Taisei Corp. (1801) (1801 JT), Obayashi Corp. (1802) (1802 JT) and Shimizu Corp. (1803) (1803 JT) rallied after Mizuho Securities Co. today boosted their equity ratings to “neutral” from “underperform.” Taisei rallied 5.6 percent to 227 yen. Obayashi leapt 5.7 percent to 409 yen. Shimizu jumped 5.5 percent to 363 yen. Also, Kajima Corp. (1812) (1812 JT) gained 4.7 percent to 269 yen after JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted the general contractor’s stock price estimate to 270 yen from 250 yen, saying in a Sept. 30 report that Kajima “is likely to beat its order target” for the first half.
Trading houses: Marubeni Corp. (8002) (8002 JT) and other trading companies declined after JPMorgan cut price targets for several firms in the sector. Marubeni, whose target was cut to 550 yen from 630 yen, plummeted 7.5 percent to 406 yen, the lowest since July 2009. Mitsui & Co. (8031 JT) sank 5.3 percent to 1,074 yen after its stock price estimate was lowered to 1,650 yen from 1,900 yen. Itochu Corp. (8001) (8001 JT), which didn’t have its target cut, lost 6.3 percent to 701 yen.
Wiremakers: Furukawa Electric Co. (5801 JT) and other makers of cables fell for a second day after the company agreed to plead guilty and pay a $200 million U.S. fine in a price-fixing and bid-rigging conspiracy over the sale of parts to automakers. Furukawa, which was cut to “neutral” from “overweight” by JPMorgan, lost 7 percent to 198 yen. Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd. (5802) (5802 JT) plunged 12 percent to 809 yen. Fujikura Ltd. (5803) (5803 JT) slid 5.1 percent to 244 yen.
Gulliver International Co. (7599 JT), a used-car retailer, decreased 5.9 percent to 3,210 yen. The company said net income fell 20 percent to 3.01 billion yen in the six months ended Aug. 31, while first-half operating profit rose 26 percent to 4.67 billion yen.
JFE Holdings Inc. (5411) (5411 JT), Japan’s second-largest steelmaker, lost 4.2 percent to 1,511 yen, the lowest since June 2003, after saying it needs to take a securities valuation charge of 81 billion yen for the six months ended Sept. 30. JFE will likely swing to a loss for the April- September period due to a drop in shares at an Indian unit, the Kyodo News reported.
Kyoei Steel Ltd. (5440) (5440 JT), a maker of specialty steel products, slipped 3.4 percent to 1,265 yen. The company said in a preliminary earnings statement that net income reached 400 million yen in the six months to Sept. 30, missing its profit outlook by 60 percent. The March earthquake eroded demand for steel and sent prices down, the release said.
Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. (9104 JT), Japan’s second- biggest shipping line by sales, tumbled 7 percent to 279 yen, the lowest since March 2003. The company’s net loss amounted to 17 billion yen in the six months ended Sept. 30, missing its profit forecast of 1 billion yen, according to a preliminary earnings statement. The first-half loss was driven by a decline in freight fares, a stronger yen and securities valuation losses, the release said.
Noritake Co. (5331 JT), a maker of ceramic tableware, plummeted 8.7 percent to 253 yen. The company cut its full- year net-income outlook 13 percent to 4.7 billion yen, saying production cuts by electronic materials manufacturers and a stronger yen will likely cuts earnings at its ceramic materials division and at subsidiary KCM Corp. (1702) (1702 JP). KCM plunged 12 percent to 280 yen.
Promise Co. (8574 JT) surged by its daily limit of 100 yen, or 15 percent, to 759 yen. Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. (8316) (8316 JT) offered as much as 88.8 billion yen to buy out Promise shareholders. The lender is offering 780 yen for each Promise share, according to a statement. Sumitomo Mitsui fell 2.7 percent to 2,146 yen.
Other consumer lenders also soared. Aiful Corp. (8515) (8515 JT) rose 3.5 percent to 117 yen. Acom Co. (8572 JT) jumped 10 percent to 1,651 yen.
Sumitomo Metal Industries Ltd. (5405) (5405 JT), Japan’s third- largest steelmaker, slumped 3.7 percent to 156 yen. The company booked a 79.8 billion yen charge as the value of its stock investments fell.
Sony Corp. (6758) (6758 JT), Japan’s biggest exporter of consumer electronics, dropped 4.5 percent to 1,439 yen on speculation the yen’s strength and slumping television demand will hurt earnings. “Japanese exporters will likely face a severe impact on their earnings from the yen’s gain against the euro and the dollar,” Masahiko Ishino, an analyst at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co. in Tokyo, said by phone today. “Demand for TV sets has been also weak, making their earnings outlook even dimmer.”
Tokyo Electron Ltd. (8035) (8035 JT) slid 3.1 percent to 3,450 yen after Chairman Tetsuro Higashi said the company’s second- quarter orders fell more than estimated because of excess chip inventories.
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