Nikon Corp. (7731) surged the most in three years in Tokyo trading after the world’s second-biggest maker of professional-grade cameras raised its operating profit forecast on higher-than-expected sales.
The shares rose as much as 13 percent, the biggest intraday advance since January 2009, to 2,098 yen and traded at 2,051 yen at the 11:30 a.m. midday break on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
Operating profit will probably be 72 billion yen ($939 million) in the year ending March 31, 7.5 percent more than the company’s previous estimate, it said in a statement after the market closed on Feb. 3. Nikon, which began offering its first mirrorless single-lens reflex camera in October, may sell 17 million digital cameras this fiscal year, 6.3 percent more than its earlier estimate, it said.
“Mirrorless cameras are gaining recognition rapidly in Europe and the U.S.,” Tetsuya Wadaki, an analyst at Nomura Holdings Inc., said in a report to clients on Feb. 3. “Nikon will remain a key player in the overseas digital camera market, as the company has a lead over rivals in Europe and the U.S.”
Mirrorless models, which are more compact than traditional single-lens reflex cameras, account for as much as 20 percent of the segment, according to Wadaki. He raised his rating on the stock to “buy” from “neutral” and boosted his 12-month share-price estimate 29 percent to 2,159 yen.
Nikon kept its full-year estimate for net income to double to 55 billion yen.
The camera and precision equipment maker resumed production in Thailand in January, earlier than planned, as it started to recover from the Southeast Asian nation’s worst floods in 70 years.
Canon Inc. (7751), Nikon’s bigger rival in cameras, forecast profit will increase by less than 1 percent to 250 billion yen this year, the company said Jan. 30.
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