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Astellas, FamilyMart, Nikon, Softbank: Japan Equity Preview

The following companies may have unusual price changes in Japanese trading today. 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.

Heavy industry companies: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. (7011 JT) and Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd. (7012 JT) will join a project to develop the engine for Airbus SAS’s A320neo aircraft, according to statements from the two companies. Mitsubishi Heavy rose 0.6 percent to 331 yen. Kawasaki gained 1 percent to 196 yen.

Astellas Pharma Inc. (4503 JT): The drugmaker will discontinue development of darexaban maleate, a drug for preventing strokes and blood clots, because competition has increased and it can’t find a partner to develop and commercialize the drug. The discontinuation won’t affect the earnings forecast for this fiscal year, according to a statement on Astellas’ website. The stock dropped 0.5 percent to 2,915 yen.

FamilyMart Co. (8028 JT): The convenience store chain boosted its net-income forecast to 15 billion yen ($196 million) from 10 billion yen for the year ending February 2012, citing better-than-expected sales. The stock fell 0.2 percent to 2,948 yen.

IHI Corp. (7013 JT): The impact on the heavy-machinery maker’s full-year operating profit of the March 11 earthquake will be about 4 billion yen, half the earlier expected amount, the Nikkei newspaper reported, citing an interview with President Kazuaki Kama. IHI rose 1.8 percent to 169 yen.

Kyushu Electric Power Co. (9508 JT): The utility forecast a net loss of 16 billion yen for the six months ending September, compared with a profit of 21.8 billion yen for the same period a year earlier, citing delays in restarting nuclear reactors and higher fuel costs. The utility didn’t give a full-year forecast due to uncertainty about the timing of the restarts. The stock fell 1 percent to 1,282 yen.

Nikon Corp. (7731 JT): The camera maker’s first-half operating profit may more than triple to about 50 billion yen, beating its 46 billion yen estimate, on better-than-expected sales of its digital single-lens reflex cameras, the Nikkei newspaper reported. The stock slid 0.1 percent to 1,858 yen.

Okaya & Co. (7485 JN): The trader of steel and machinery raised its net-profit forecast to 4.8 billion yen from 3.5 billion yen for the period ended Aug. 31. The stock fell 1.1 percent to 879 yen.

Panasonic Corp. (6752 JT): The electronics maker will cut the number of domestic lithium ion battery factories by half and increase productions in China, the Nikkei newspaper reported. The stock advanced 3.1 percent to 763 yen.

Seikagaku Corp. (4548 JT): The maker of materials used for pharmaceutical products raise its net-income forecast to 2.1 billion yen from 1.5 billion yen for the six-month period ending Sept. 30, citing an expected drop in research costs. The stock gained 3.2 percent to 875 yen.

Softbank Corp. (9984 JT): The mobile-phone operator will spend about 100 billion yen to start high-speed PHS wireless this year, the Nikkei newspaper reported. President Masayoshi Son will announce the service at a briefing today, the report said. Separately, Softbank said it may buy back as many as 8 million shares for up to 11.9 billion yen from Oct. 3 to Sept. 30, 2012. The stock gained 3.8 percent to 2,214 yen.

Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. (8316 JT): The lender will consider buying U.S. assets from European banks, the Nikkei newspaper reported, citing an interview with Sumitomo Mitsui President Koichi Miyata. The stock rose 1 percent to 2,170 yen.

Toho Titanium Co. (5727 JT): The titanium smelter expects a net loss of 500 million yen for the six-month period ending Sept. 30, compared with a previous forecast it would break even. Rising iron ore prices and a stronger yen hurt earnings, the company said. The stock rose 1.5 percent to 1,330 yen.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. (9501 JT): The utility promised not to seek debt relief from banks, the Nikkei newspaper reported. The promise was made in letters to banks while the power company was seeking loans, the report said. Separately, a government panel examining the utility’s finances will recommend cutting 2.4 trillion yen in costs, Kyodo News reported. The stock surged 8.2 percent to 263 yen.

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