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Dip in robotics stocks shows perils of excessive optimism

Yaskawa Electric and peers dive 3-4% as even robust earnings miss targets

Japan's Yaskawa Electric has seized on demand in China for industrial robots amid a shortage of factory workers.

TOKYO -- Shares in industrial robot maker Yaskawa Electric took a 4% dive Wednesday despite healthy profits and last year's standout performance, flashing investors a warning sign about excessive expectations for growth stocks as Japan's earnings season gets underway.

Yaskawa, one of last year's strongest-growing components on the Nikkei Stock Average, beat most peers to releasing earnings for the nine months through December, publishing its report after markets closed Tuesday. The showing was strong, with consolidated net profit roughly doubling year on year as the company seized on demand for factory automation in labor-short markets like China.

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