Daiwa House, Kubota, Nippon Steel, Tepco: Japan Stocks Preview

The following companies may have unusual price changes in Japanese trading on Dec. 19. 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.

Askul Corp. (2678 JT): The office equipment distributor said net income almost tripled to 1.05 billion yen ($14 million) in the six months ended Nov. 20 from 385 million yen a year earlier, on higher sales and cost cuts. The stock rose 1.3 percent to 1,102 yen.

Daiwa House Industry Co. (1925 JT): The homebuilder cut its full-year net income forecast 37 percent to 30 billion yen, citing a charge related to deferred tax assets. Shares edged down 0.1 percent to 918 yen.

Hi-Lex Corp. (7279 JO): The cable maker said net income fell 23 percent to 5.8 billion yen in the year ended Oct. 31, and forecast a 31 percent rise to 7.57 billion yen in profit going forward. Hi-Lex gained 1.5 percent to 1,155 yen.

Hokuetsu Kishu Paper Co. (3865 JT): The paper and pulp products producer, plans to invest 60 billion yen ($772 million) in overseas markets over the next five years, Nikkei newspaper reported, citing the company’s president. The stock rose 0.8 percent to 511 yen.

Horipro Inc. (9667 JT): The talent agency said it will be acquired in a management buyout and bought for 1,050 yen a share. The stock gained 2.9 percent to 645 yen.

Japan Material Co. (6055 JT): The manufacturer of chip-making equipment will start trading on the Tokyo Stock Exchange and the Nagoya Stock Exchange on Dec. 19. The initial offering price was 2,650 yen.

Kubota Corp. (6326 JT): The farm equipment maker will offer to buy Kverneland ASA (KVE NO), a Norway-based tractor maker, in a cash offer of 8.50 kroner per share. Kubota was unchanged at 624 yen.

Kusuri No Aoki Co. (3398 JT): The drugstore operator raised its full-year net-income outlook 16 percent to 1.8 billion yen, citing strong same-store sales. The stock added 0.8 percent to 1,327 yen.

Sato Holding Corp. (6287 JT): The printing machinery maker will acquire Argox Information Co., a Taiwan-based company in the same industry, for NT$2.25 billion ($74 million). Sato slipped 1.6 percent to 935 yen.

Nippon Steel Corp. (5401 JT): Standard & Poor’s put the steelmaker’s BBB+ long-term debt rating on CreditWatch Negative, saying the planned merger with Sumitomo Metal Industries Ltd. (5405 JT) will weaken Nippon Steel’s risk profile. Nippon Steel fell 0.5 percent to 190 yen. Sumitomo Metal slid 0.7 percent to 136 yen.

Sony Corp. (6758 JT): The company’s PlayStation Vita made its debut. The Stock rose 1.1 percent to 1,360 yen.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. (9501 JT): Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said the government and the utility also known as Tepco have completed a cold shutdown of the Fukushima nuclear reactors crippled by the March 11 record earthquake and tsunami. Separately, Tepco plans to sell its data center unit for as much as 100 billion yen ($1.3 billion) by the end of March 2012, the Yomiuri newspaper reported. The stock rose 1.3 percent to 229 yen.

Toshiba Corp. (6502 JT): Japan’s largest maker of nuclear plants expects 63 percent of sales from its energy business to come from overseas by March 2016. The company’s “smart community” energy management sales are projected to grow to 900 billion yen in this period, President Norio Sasaki told reporters in Tokyo, maintaining an earlier projection. The stock lost 1.5 percent to 323 yen.

Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. (5105 JT): Japan’s fourth-largest tiremaker by sales will raise prices in the U.S. market by an average of 6 percent starting Jan. 1, according to its website. The stock was unchanged at 176 yen.

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