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Asahi Slumps as Earnings Fall, Recommendation Cut: Tokyo Mover

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Oct. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Asahi Group Holdings Ltd., the biggest beer maker in Japan by market share, declined in Tokyo trading after posting lower earnings and having its recommendation cut at JPMorgan Chase & Co.

The stock fell 1.7 percent to 1,819 yen at the close in Tokyo trading, the lowest since Aug. 13. The broader Topix index rose 1.2 percent. The Tokyo-based company yesterday posted a 12 percent drop in operating profit to 67.7 billion yen ($851 million) in the nine months ended September amid increased costs.

Asahi, which affirmed its forecast for full-year earnings of 113 billion yen, has boosted spending on marketing in its soft-drink business to drive sales. Ritsuko Tsunoda, an analyst at JPMorgan in Tokyo, cut the stock to underweight from neutral.

“Our overall impression is negative,” Satsuki Kawasaki, an analyst at Credit Suisse Group AG, wrote in an Oct. 30 report. There is “an increasing risk of operating profit missing the target.”

Kawasaki cut her share price forecast on the stock by 5.3 percent to 1,800 yen.

To contact the reporter on this story: Yuki Yamaguchi in Tokyo at yyamaguchi10@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephanie Wong at swong139@bloomberg.net

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