Nikkei steady; Nissan plunges after cutting guidance

Mon Nov 4, 2013 8:59pm EST

* Kubota up as much as 9.7 pct to 3-mth high after lifting
f'cast
    * Nissan cuts guidance, sags as much as 11.6 pct to 7-mth
low
    * SoftBank extends gains after earnings results

    By Dominic Lau
    TOKYO, Nov 5 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei average stabilised
on Tuesday after two days of losses as gains made by companies
such as farm equipment maker Kubota Corp after lifting earnings
forecasts countered Nissan Motor Co Ltd's plunge on weaker
guidance. 
    Gains in index heavyweight SoftBank Corp, a
follow-through from last week's strong results, also supported
the Nikkei which was steady at 14,205.40 after losing
2.1 percent in the previous two sessions. 
    Nissan, the second-most traded counter on the main board by
turnover, sank as much as 11.6 percent to a seven-month low of
850 yen on Tuesday morning.
    The carmaker cut its annual net profit estimate for the year
ending March 2014 by 15 percent to 355 billion yen ($3.6
billion) after market close on Friday, facing a slowdown in
emerging markets and quality issues. Japanese markets were
closed for a public holiday on Monday.
    "(Nissan) is down but I have not seen much reaction from
long-term investors out there," a Tokyo-based senior trader at a
foreign bank said. 
     Other carmakers were also on the back foot, with Toyota
Motor Corp down 0.5 percent and Honda Motor Co Ltd
 off 0.8 percent.
    Of the Big Three carmakers, Toyota shares have performed so
far this year, up 58 percent versus Honda's 24.5 percent rise
and Nissan's 8 percent gain. 
    But Nissan was the cheapest of the three in terms of
valuations. It carried a 12-month forward price-to-earnings
ratio of 8.1 versus Toyota and Honda both at 10.7, according to
Thomson Reuters Datastream. 
    Farm equipment and machinery maker Kubota Corp 
offered investors some cheer as it lifted its six-month earnings
forecast by 28 percent to 100 billion yen. The stock climbed as
much as 9.7 percent to a three-month high of 1,575 yen.
    SoftBank gained 2.4 percent, building on Friday's 3.4
percent rally after the mobile operator reported a record
six-month profit. It was the most-traded stock.
    The broader Topix index was down 0.2 percent at
1,180.78 in mid-morning trade, with volume at 40 percent of the
full daily average for the past 90 trading days.
    Of the 105 Nikkei companies that have so far announced
quarterly earnings, 62 percent either met or exceeded market
expectations, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine. That
compared with 58 percent in the previous quarter.
    The benchmark is up 37 percent so far this year.
    Other notable gainers on Tuesday included Astella Pharmas
Inc, which rose 0.5 percent, adding to Friday's 1.1
percent gain after the drugmaker said it would buy back up to
5.3 million of its own shares, worth about 30 billion yen, 
between Nov. 5 and Dec. 16.
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