Aerospace Industry Becomes Crucial to 3 Japanese Firms

Article excerpt

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Fuji Heavy Industries, which are among the biggest foreign suppliers of aircraft components to the Boeing Co., ``are going to be the core of the Japanese aerospace industry,'' forecasts Dr. Edward Yardeni, economics director for Prudential-Bache Securities.

And Donald M. Krueger, the aerospace analyst for Sanyo Securities Ltd. in New York, said aerospace was becoming so crucial to Mitsubishi that there was a strong chance that by the end of the decade the big Japanese company could change its name to Mitsubishi Aerospace Industries.

Krueger said he expected Mitsubishi's profits to grow sharply this year, reflecting its growth in the aerospace sector.

For the six months ended Sept. 30, Mitsubishi's net profits soared 90 percent, to 31.2 billion yen (about $215.7 million at current rates). Kawasaki's profits jumped 48.5 percent, to 4.9 billion yen ($33.9 million).

Fuji's net profits slumped 18 percent, to 5.1 billion yen ($35.3 million), and it reported a loss on operations for the period of 3.99 billion yen ($27.6 million).

Picking Mitsubishi as his favorite among the three, Krueger said: ``Its stock might not move a lot tomorrow or even in the next year. But just as an investor might want GE as a long-term core stock in a U.S. portfolio, he or she might want Mitsubishi Heavy Industries as a long-term fundamental core stock in a Japanese portfolio. We're recommending it.''

Yardeni, of Prudential-Bache, noted that the three Japanese companies are ``completely involved in building the FSX fighter with General Dynamics.''

He said Japan's Ministry of International Trade and Industry ``has been providing them with lots of seed money to stimulate aerospace. …