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Nikon Gains Most in 2 Years After Forecasting Profit Rise

May 13 (Bloomberg) -- Nikon Corp., a Japanese maker of cameras, lenses and scanners, gained the most in more than two years in Tokyo trading after profit beat analysts’ estimates and it forecast rising demand for chip-making equipment.

Nikon surged as much as 9.6 percent, the biggest intraday increase since April 2009, and traded 8.4 percent higher at 1,799 yen as of 9:35 a.m. on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. The stock was the biggest gainer on the benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average, which was little changed.

“Profit at Nikon’s precision unit will likely gain significantly this year on stronger demand for manufacturing equipment of flat-panel displays,” Hisashi Moriyama, a Tokyo-based analyst at JPMorgan Chase & Co, said in a report today. The company’s profit target set for the 12 months to March 2014 was also positive, said Moriyama, who rates the stock “overweight.”

Nikon yesterday reported annual operating profit of 54.1 billion yen ($669 million) for the year ended March 31, beating the 48.9 billion yen average of seven analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg in the past 28 days. Revenue gained 13 percent in the year.

The maker of Coolpix cameras is aiming for operating profit of 135 billion yen by March 2014, the company said yesterday. That would be the company’s highest since March 2008, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mariko Yasu in Tokyo at myasu@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Young-Sam Cho at ycho2@bloomberg.net

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