Japan Stocks: Honda, Kajima, Nintendo, Obayashi, Taisei, Sumco

Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average fell 50.17, or 0.6 percent, to 9,057.26 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.

Contractors: Taisei Corp. (1801 JT) leapt 4.3 percent to 195 yen and Obayashi Corp. (1802 JT) climbed 3.7 percent to 367 yen after JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted investment ratings on the construction companies to “overweight” from “neutral.” Kajima Corp. (1812 JT) rose 3 percent to 238 yen after JPMorgan raised its rating to “neutral” from “underweight.”

Asahi Organic Chemicals Industry Co. (4216 JT), a maker of resin products, advanced 4.9 percent to 213 yen. The company will likely have a record operating profit in its U.S. division this fiscal year, buoyed by “favorable” shipments of plumbing materials and growing bulb demand from chipmakers, the Nikkei newspaper reported.

Chugoku Bank Ltd. (8382 JT), a regional bank, climbed 3 percent to 959 yen. The lender raised its full-year net income forecast by 81 percent to 19 billion yen ($247 million).

Hokkaido Electric Power Co. (9509 JT), a utility, gained 3.7 percent to 1,225 yen. Japan’s Hokkaido prefecture approved the commercial restart of Hokkaido Electric Power’s Tomari No. 3 nuclear reactor, Kyodo News reported, citing governor Harumi Takahashi.

Honda Motor Co. (7267 JT), Japan’s No. 2 carmaker by revenue, slid 2.5 percent to 2,552 yen. The automaker’s U.S. dealers are set for their most difficult month of sales since Japan’s March earthquake, the Wall Street Journal reported. The carmaker has been slower to boost production than Toyota Motor Corp. (7203 JT) and Nissan Motor Co. (7201 JT). Honda’s inventories are being depleted, leaving its retailers bracing for a significant drop in sales in August, the report said. Toyota and Nissan both fell 1.5 percent.

Nintendo Co. (7974 JO), the world’s largest maker of video-game players, rose 2.8 percent to 12,030 yen. Nintendo sold about 215,000 3DS hand-held players in Japan last week after cutting prices, research firm Enterbrain Inc. said in a statement. That’s the product’s second-highest weekly sales total since the player’s debut in February, according to the Tokyo-based research firm.

Piped Bits Co. (3831 JT), a software developer, soared 9.7 percent to 113,000 yen. The company said it will sell 2,500 new shares to United Ventures Inc., a privately held business consulting company.

Sumco Corp. (3436 JT), a maker of silicon wafers for semiconductors, retreated 5.1 percent to 996 yen, the lowest since December 2008. UBS AG cut its stock-price estimate for Sumco to 1,100 yen from 1,600 yen, maintaining its “neutral” rating. “Earnings are weakening for solar cell wafers due to lower prices,” UBS said in a report dated yesterday.

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