Sunday, March 10, 2013

2 years have gone by

On the 2 year anniversary of the Tohoku earthquake, we bring greetings from the ground in Tokyo. On this sunny spring Monday, stock markets continue to be frothy particularly in Japan and the US, hitting all-time highs in the US and 5-year highs in Tokyo. We deem it appropriate to pass on the following comparison, with thanks to David Rosenberg:


Lots of things have changed since the last Dow Jones peak in 2007:

Dow Jones Industrial Average: Then 14164.5; Now 14,304
GDP Growth: Then +2.5%; Now +1.6%
Unemployed: Then 6.7 million; Now 13.2 million
Food Stamp users: Then 26.9 million; Now 47.69 million
Fed’s Balance Sheet: Then $0.89 trillion; Now $3.01 trillion
Debt as a Percentage of GDP: Then ~38%; Now 74.2%
Total US Debt: Then $9.008 trillion; Now $16.43 trillion
Consumer Confidence: Then 99.5; Now 69.6
VIX: Then 17.5%; Now 14%
10 Year Treasury Yield: Then 4.64%; Now 1.89%
Gold: Then $748; Now $1583
NYSE Average daily volume: Then 1.3 billion shares; Now 545 million shares

Back to chips and dips in Tokyo, we visited 3 companies last week (Nikon, TEL, Docomo), and will see Sharp, Horiba, and Omron this week. Below is our full line-up for this month.

Nikon: neutral impression
Tokyo Electron: positive impression
NTT Docomo: neutral impression
Sharp (6753)
Horiba (6856)
Omron (6645)
Nihon Kohden (6849)
Miraca (4544)
Ushio (6925)

As you can see, we've added some medical-related names this time around, given their strong performance and the favorable demographics for medical industry in Japan. Omron/Horiba have large indus. equip. biz's, 
but medical equip biz is attractive and gaining importance. We'll give more color on all the visits later this month.

For those interested, another super day was had at the Tokyo marathon:

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