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NEC Corp's (NIPNY) shares have been quietly advancing but you can forget about the "quietly" part from now following an upgrade by Goldman Sachs (GS) earlier today in Japan from "in-line" to "outperform." NEC gained 4.7% to close at 892 yen. So far this week (through Thursday) NEC's ADRs have gained 2.7% versus the 7.9% gain made by its ordinary shares (Tokyo: 6701) for the full week. I expect NEC's ADRs will trade higher today based on the GS upgrade but given the weak yen they will not be able to close the gap.

Regarding the upgrade, Bloomberg noted that GS analyst Ikuo Matsuhashi, said "earnings may exceed analysts' estimates as its mobile-phone business and its semiconductor unit return to profit."

Matsuhashi said he expects NEC's operating profit to reach 175 billion yen (US$1.48b) for the fiscal year ending Mar. 2007, which is 25% higher than Thomson Financial's consensus analyst estimate of 140 billion yen.

Click here for a link to the Bloomberg article.

NEC 1-yr chart:

Source: NEC Upgraded by GS from "In-line" to "Outperform" (NIPNY)