ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronEye IconIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon PrintTitle ChevronIcon Twitter
Markets

Itochu stock surpasses rival Mitsubishi's for first time

Food business helps cushion coronavirus impact

Itochu's lifestyle businesses, such as the food sector, have performed well during the pandemic. Dole Food's Asian fresh produce business was acquired in 2013. (Photo courtesy of Itochu)

TOKYO -- Shares of Japanese trading house Itochu closed above leading domestic rival Mitsubishi Corp. for the first time ever Monday, thanks to a business portfolio well positioned to weather the global pandemic.

Itochu netted a modest gain to end at 2,331 yen on Monday, topping Mitsubishi's 2,317 yen. This after Itochu's market capitalization climbed past Mitsubishi's on June 2, with the spread now exceeding 200 billion yen ($1.87 billion).

Investors have viewed Itochu more favorably than other trading companies in the face of the coronavirus pandemic thanks to its holdings in lifestyle businesses. The food segment in particular has remained healthy.

"Itochu is resilient to economic fluctuations," said an analyst at a Japanese brokerage.

The company expects consolidated net profit to decline 20% to 400 billion yen for the year ending March 2021. Mitsubishi did not release guidance for this financial year, but market analysts predict a 39% drop to 325.3 billion yen.

The two companies' number of shares outstanding is roughly the same, with 1.585 billion Itochu shares in circulation compared with 1.486 billion for Mitsubishi. Last month, Mitsubishi canceled about 100 million shares after buying back nearly 300 billion yen of its stock.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this monthThis is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia;
the most dynamic market in the world.

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia

Get trusted insights from experts within Asia itself.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 1 month for $0.99

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this month

This is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia; the most
dynamic market in the world
.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 3 months for $9

Offer ends October 31st

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers and subscribe

Your full access to Nikkei Asia has expired

You need a subscription to:

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers
NAR on print phone, device, and tablet media

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more