Japan's Yaskawa cuts profit outlook again as trade woes hit China demand

TOKYO, Jan 10 (Reuters) - Japanese automation equipment maker Yaskawa Electric Corp on Thursday lowered its annual operating profit outlook for the second time in three months, as caution over the Sino-U.S. trade dispute dampened Chinese manufacturers’ investment appetite.

Yaskawa, one of the world’s biggest industrial robot manufacturers, forecast profit at 53 billion yen ($491.74 million) for the year ending February, down 10 percent from the previously estimated 59 billion yen.

The ongoing trade dispute has turned smartphone and other manufacturers in China cautious about investment, leading to a steeper-than-expected fall in orders for servo motors, the company said.

The revised outlook missed the 56.92 billion yen average of 23 analyst estimates in a Refinitiv poll.

The slowdown in automation equipment demand in China has weighed on Yaskawa’s share price, sending the stock down by 18 percent since the company first lowered its profit outlook on Oct 10.

$1 = 107.7800 yen Reporting by Makiko Yamazaki; Editing by Christopher Cushing