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A Year Later: 10 Companies Hit Hard By the Japanese Earthquake

Several businesses still are recovering from heavy damages

By Anthony John Agnello, Consumer and Technology Writer

http://invstplc.com/1bDth6W

Japan Earthquake TsunamiLoss is the only word simple and encompassing enough to describe the aftermath of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake that shattered Japan on March 11, 2011. Loss of homes and lives to the destructive movement of the Earth’s tectonic plates and the tsunami that followed; loss of safety to the survivors threatened by failing nuclear plants in Fukushima and Onagawa; and the loss of economic security due to a total economic cost of roughly $235 billion, according to World Bank estimates.

One year later, Japan still is recovering. Some companies have rebounded from losses suffered after the quake, while others still are contending with financial aftershocks.

Here’s a look at 10 companies that were impacted by the quake and tsunami, and where they are a year later:

Sony

Sony Corp. (NYSE: SNE)Sony‘s (NYSE:SNE) operations were dramatically impacted by the quake. Six of the company’s manufacturing plants — in charge of Blu-ray player components, discs and lithium-ion batteries — were shut down by the quake. Struggling segments within its many-limbed business intensified these quake-related casualties. The company is forecasting a loss of $2.9 billion when it reports full-year earnings this month.

Honda

Honda HMCJapanese automaker Honda (NYSE:HMC) was hit hard by the quake. Car production declined nearly 40% between April and September of 2011, with 294,234 fewer cars made year-over-year during the period. Worse still, floods in Thailand continue to frustrate the company’s supply chain.

Toyota

Also suffering was Toyota (NYSE:TM), which was forced to shut down three plants in the immediate aftermath after the quake, among them the Miyagi plant that makes the company’s Yaris compact car. By August, though, Toyota’s production had recovered to the point that it was able to raise profit forecasts by 40%. It is expecting to report profits of around $2.6 billion on March 31.

Apple

Cupertino, Calif.’s most valuable company was in a uniquely difficult situation when the quake hit. The Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad 2 was released on March 10 just ahead of the quake, and though the tablets were assembled in China, Japanese component suppliers like Asahi Glass were damaged, threatening iPad supplies. The quake ultimately had a negligible effect on the company, which went on to have its best ever earnings year.

Canon

Canon (NYSE:CAJ) was lucky in that its camera, printer and lens manufacturing facilities weren’t damaged enough to halt production entirely. Still, the company was expecting profits to suffer because of the quake. Operating profits were expected to be around just $4.1 billion for the year immediately after the quake, but came in above $4.6 billion by the end of December.

Panasonic

Panasonic Corp. (NYSE: PC)Like Sony, Panasonic (NYSE:PC) had a woeful 2011. Following the quake, the company projected damages to its operations of around $258 million. It cut 17,000 jobs in April. The hits continued throughout the year. Panasonic is expecting to report a $9 billion loss for the year on March 31.

Toshiba

Toshiba Corp. TOSBFThis consumer electronics and flash memory maker was amongst those companies that had to evacuate a manufacturing plant following the quake. Toshiba (PINK:TOSYY) was forced to lower its full-year revenue and profit forecasts by 3% and 4%, respectively. Its recovery after the quake was hampered by poor television sales throughout the year, and now is expecting to report annual net profits of just $801 million, down from a previously forecast $1.7 billion.

Sapporo

Among all of Japan’s food and alcohol companies, Sapporo was arguably hurt the worst, with quake-related costs totaling around $60 million. Net profits fell 83% to around $7.3 million between January and September 2011 compared to the previous year, even during a period when sales were up 14% and operating profits were up 29%.

Nikon

Canon’s chief competitor was forced to shut down the plant that made its flagship DSLR cameras. Nikon (PINK:NINOY) reported that its operations had almost completely recovered by August 2011, but like Honda, flooding in Thailand in October severely damaged company plants. The company lowered projected net sales to just above $11.4 billion for the year ending in March at the beginning of February.

Nissan

Nissan NSANYMore than 2,000 Nissan (PINK:NSANY) cars, ready for export to the U.S., were damaged during the quake. The care company also had to shut down four plants. As a result of these production woes, prices on popular Nissan models rose. Prices for the Nissan Rogue jumped 6% by the end of 2011. Profits rose through the company’s third quarter that ended Feb. 8, though, and it expects to report a $3.8 billion profit for the year in March.

As of this writing, Anthony John Agnello did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.


Article printed from InvestorPlace Media, https://investorplace.com/2012/03/a-year-later-10-companies-hit-hard-by-the-japanese-earthquake/.

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