Top Performing Japanese Stocks on the NYSE (NMR, MFG, KUB)
The Bank of Japan's surprise decision to follow the U.S. Federal Reserve's lead and launch a new round its own quantitative easing lifted Asian and European stocks, and even buoyed the U.S. markets in early trading Wednesday. Japan's central bank announced that it will increase the size of its quantitative easing program by 10 trillion yen, or more than $12.6 billion. The increase in the plan represents about 22 percent of the total stimulus to date.
U.S. listed stocks of Japanese companies are largely higher in Wednesday morning trading. Here is quick look at three of the best performing of those stocks so far this year: Nomura Holdings (NYSE: NMR), Mizuho Financial Group (NYSE: MFG) and Kubota (NYSE: KUB).
This Tokyo-based investment brokerage has market capitalization of more than $14 billion. The long-term earnings per share (EPS) growth forecast is more than 32 percent and the operating margin is better than that of competitor Bank of America (NYSE: BAC). But Nomura's return on equity is in negative territory. Short interest is much less than one percent of the float. Only two analysts surveyed by Thomson/First Call follow the stock. The current share price has overrun the mean price target. The stock is more than 24 percent higher year to date, but still off about 21 percent from the 52-week high back in March. Over the past six months, Nomura has underperformed Bank of America and the broader U.S. markets.
Mizuho Financial Group
This Tokyo-based bank has a market cap of more than $41 billion. Its price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio is lower than the industry average. EPS are forecast to grow more than 34 percent this year. Short interest is much less than one percent of the float. Again, only two analysts polled by Thomson Reuters follow the stock, but one of them rates Mizuho at Strong Buy. Their mean price target is more than 17 percent higher than the current share price, as well as higher than the 52-week high. Mizuho is up almost 15 percent year to date and has outperformed Japanese competitors Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (NYSE: MTU) and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (NYSE: SMFG), as well as Citigroup (NYSE: C), over the past six months.
This maker of machinery and industrial goods is headquartered in Osaka and sports a market cap is about $13 billion. Its P/E ratio is 16.8, and the return on equity is more than nine percent, which is much less than that of U.S. competitors Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT) and Deere (NYSE: DE). Again the short interest in Kubota is near zero. The stock reached a 52-week high late last week but has pulled back more than two percent since then. Still, the share price is up more than 18 percent in the past 90 days and more than 20 percent higher year to date. Over the past six months, Kubota has outperformed Caterpillar and Deere, as well as Tokyo-based Nippon Steel.
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