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Goldman Sachs Japan reiterated "neutral" ratings on Honda (JP: 7267) (NYSE:HMC) and Nissan (JP: 7201) (OTCPK:NSANY), but boosted its target share price for Honda by 17% to ¥4,200, while lowering Nissan's target 7% to ¥1,300. However, there seems to be a lack of excitement here, as Honda is already trading above its target and Nissan has been rallying back towards ¥1,400.

Note details behind the maintained ratings and target revisions were not provided in coverage by Kabushiki Shimbun.

Ordinary shares of Honda fell 0.5% to ¥4,280 ($35.31 ADR equiv. at ¥121.2/$1) in Tuesday trading. In morning trading Wednesday, its ADRs are down 0.3% to $35.13.

Nissan gained 1.4% to ¥1,367 ($22.56 ADR equiv). Its ADRs are up 1.3% to $22.34 in early Wednesday trading.

Separately, a report by Reuters Japan says there's growing interest among investors in companies repurchasing their own shares.

First, despite the share price appreciation of some firms -- such as Toyota (JP: 7203) (NYSE:TM), which said it plans to buy back 30 million shares (~$1.8b) -- investors view those willing to carry out repurchases as having confidence in their financial outlook, in addition to the common belief companies don't buy back shares at high levels.

Secondly, an arm of the Bank of Japan holding shares of Japanese companies from the bail out days plans to liquidate holdings by October. Investors see buybacks as providing support when these shares hit the market.

Aside from Toyota (among stocks with ADRs), the article mentions Honda, Mizuho Financial Group (JP: 8411) (NYSE:MFG) and TDK (JP: 6762) (TDK) as also having announced buybacks.

See a chart of Honda below, as of Tuesday's close.


See a chart of Nissan below, as of Tuesday's close.


Suggested reading: Shares of Japan's Big-3 Auto Struggling in '07, Is it Time to Buy?

Disclosure: The author does not own shares of any companies mentioned.

Source: Goldman Issues New Targets for Honda and Nissan; Buyback Plays Eyed