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Japan Stocks: Advantest, Elpida, JGC, Nikon, Nintendo, Olympus

Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average fell 5.17, or 0.1 percent, to 8,160.01 at the 3 p.m. close in Tokyo, declining 2.6 percent on the week. The following were among the most active shares in the Japanese market today. Stock symbols are in parentheses after company names.

Chip-making equipment companies: Advantest Corp. (6857 JT) and Ulvac Inc. (6728 JT) gained after the Nikkei newspaper reported demand will likely rise for Japan’s eight main producers of equipment for manufacturing chips and liquid-crystal. The report says orders could rise 30 percent in the three months ending Dec. 31 from the previous quarter.

Advantest, the world’s biggest maker of memory-chip testers, gained 3 percent to 800 yen. Ulvac, a maker of vacuum devices for semiconductors, climbed 5 percent to 905 yen. Disco Corp. (6146 JT) rose 3 percent to 3,735 yen. Tokyo Electron Ltd. (8035 JT) added 1.7 percent to 3,925 yen.

Elpida Memory Inc. (6665 JT), the world’s third-largest memory-chip maker, jumped 7.9 percent to 383 yen. SMBC Nikko Securities Inc. boosted the equity rating to “outperform” from “neutral.” Also, Elpida has developed a 4-gigabit mobile random-access memory chip that can achieve a high-speed data transfer rate of 1,600Mbps at a low operating voltage, the company said on its website yesterday.

Genky Stores Inc. (2772 JT), a drugstore operator, soared 11 percent to 1,590 yen. Same-store sales in the month ended Nov. 20 rose 6.2 percent from the same month a year earlier, the retailer said in a release.

Hitachi Chemical Co. (4217 JT), a chemical producer, advanced 3.1 percent to 1,392 yen. Hitachi’s sales of materials used for touch panels will likely quadruple to about 12 billion yen in the fiscal year ending March 2012, beating its 6 billion yen forecast, the Nikkei newspaper reported. ‘Favorable demand for smartphones and tablet terminals is boosting the sales,” the report said.

Nikon Corp. (7731 JT), a camera maker, gained 2.7 percent to 1,739 yen. The company, which shut its main plant in Thailand due to floods, will start substitute production of digital single-lens reflex cameras in the country at the end of November, nearly a month ahead of schedule, the Nikkei newspaper reported.

Nintendo Co. (7974 JO), the world’s largest maker of video-game consoles, rallied 3.2 percent to 11,200 yen. Sales of Nintendo’s 3DS handheld may start picking up on strong sales of it latest “Super Mario Bros” game, the Nikkei newspaper reported. The company sold 340,000 of the portable video-game players by the third week of November, exceeding October sales of 240,000, the report said.

Nissen Holdings Co. (8248 JO), a mail-order business operator, dropped 5 percent to 440 yen. The company said sales on a parent basis fell 7.1 percent in the month ended Nov. 20 from a year earlier, its first drop since August.

Olympus Corp. (7733 JT), a maker of optical equipment, soared 8.6 percent to 1,107 yen. Olympus’s former President Michael C. Woodford pledged to work with the Japanese camera maker’s board to avoid the threat of delisting a day after three executives implicated in a scheme to hide losses resigned. The company’s priority is to produce accounts by the Dec. 14 deadline set by regulators to avoid removal from public trading, whistle-blower Woodford told reporters in Tokyo today after his first board meeting since being fired.

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