Japan’s Top Companies Doubled Earnings Last Quarter

Japan’s top listed companies doubled earnings last quarter from a year earlier, exceeding already high forecasts and generating support for the economic recovery effort of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

With almost all of the Nikkei 225 Stock Average companies reporting, profit surged 103 percent and beat analyst estimates by 16 percent, the most in two years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Companies topping estimates range from Toyota Motor Corp. (7203) and Sony Corp. (6758) to Shiseido Co. (4911) and Kobe Steel Ltd. (5406)

The magnitude and breadth of the profit surge means Japan’s leading companies have the money to help stoke the economy — through investment, dividends and higher wages — which would aid Abe’s effort to break two decades of stagnation. Slumping corporate investment has hindered the recovery, with gross domestic product figures released today showing companies cut spending for a sixth straight quarter.


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