Jin Says Overseas Plans to Boost Anti-Glare Glasses Sales
Jin Co., whose sales of anti-glare eyewear drove its stock up more than fourfold last year, said revenue will reach 100 billion yen ($1.06 billion) by 2018, two years earlier than it expected, helped by overseas expansion.
The company wants to triple the number of stores in Japan to 500 and expand Chinese outlets 10-fold to 100 in five years, and enter U.S. and European markets, said Chief Executive Officer Hitoshi Tanaka. Tokyo-based Jin trades at 31 times estimated earnings, compared with an average 20 times for companies on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s first section, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
Jin, which makes the Jins PC eyewear that reduces screen brightness from computers and smartphones, surged 315 percent last year, compared with a 14 percent gain in the Jasdaq Stock Index. The company will be worth more than 1 trillion yen in 10 years, joining Japan’s largest companies including Toyota Motor Corp., Nintendo Co. and Fast Retailing Co., Tanaka said.
“Fast Retailing’s CEO Tadashi Yanai boosted the company’s market capitalization by 1 trillion yen in 10 years, so I am motivated to do the same,” Tanaka, 50, said in an interview on Feb. 14.
Only 71 firms among the 3,500 listed companies in Japan exceeded 1 trillion yen in market value as of Feb. 18, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
Jin’s shares rose 8.9 percent to 3,975 yen today, after surging as much as 14 percent. The stock closed at the highest level since it debuted in August 2006.
“It’s unclear how long the PC glasses boom will last. It may be transient,” said Akira Iwasaki, an analyst at Iwai Cosmo Securities Co. with an outperform on the stock. “It depends on whether the company can make a paradigm shift and get people who have good eyesight to wear these glasses. When people started selling mineral water, most thought they could just manage with tap water.”
The size of Japan’s eyewear market contracted by about a fifth to 462 billion yen in 2011 from 2004 as contact lenses and Lasik eye surgeries became popular, said Yutaka Minobe, president of Tokyo-based Gankyo Publishing Co., which monitors the industry’s trends.
“Prices have also been falling and the population is shrinking,” Minobe said. “New products such as the PC glasses, and special eyewear for pollen allergies and sports may help revive the market among young people.”
Jin sold 3.5 million glasses in 2012 and projects sales of 6 million units this year, Tanaka said. Mizuho Financial Group Inc. and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. are advising the company on its overseas expansion strategy, he said.
Still, “sales growth momentum will slacken from the next fiscal year due to a slowdown for J!NS PC” glasses, Natsumi Negishi and Yoshimasa Ikazaki, analysts at Daiwa Securities Group Inc., wrote in a report dated Jan. 11. “The stock does not seem undervalued even in view of expected profit growth three years in the future.”
The analysts have a neutral rating on the stock.
Jin started in 1988 and now has about 1,500 employees. The company on Jan. 10 raised its sales forecast to 32.3 billion yen from 29.4 billion yen for the year ending Aug. 31, according to a company statement. The profit estimate was increased to 2.4 billion yen from 1.8 billion yen for the period.
Toyota, with a market value of 16.5 trillion yen, forecasts 21.8 trillion yen in sales for the year ending March 31.