Return of the Big N?

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In 2003, it was common to hear this:

Nintendo’s weakness doesn’t just lie on the console front. Sony’s announcement of the PSP sent the company’s stock tumbling as investors saw it as a major threat to the successful Game Boy line. The Game Boy has seen its fair share of competition from other companies vying for a slice of the portable market, but not from Sony. The Playstation has ruled the console market for two solid generations and its first handheld product could do the same for the portable market.

The company’s flaccid attitude towards the PSP is a bit alarming and disconcerting. Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has said that the PSP will not have a big impact on their business. The public might be subject to believe him, except that this is far from the truth. The Game Boy Advance is the large reason for the company’s $95 million net profit in April to June. With its uncertainty of success in the home console market, Nintendo has shown no plan of attack against the PSP other than a new game product announcement that may or may not be a successor to the GBA. What’s more alarming is that the new product is described as “unique and surprising.” If it’s as unique and surprising as the Pac-Man for GameCube demonstrated at E3, count consumers out.

While it’s understandable that Nintendo can’t divulge important details of a new GBA for strategic reasons, the company is no longer in the position to be the stubborn playmaker it once was. If it can’t control market conditions, it has to react to them. The nonchalant attitude and vague company outlook only raises more doubt to the company’s brand, image, and sales.

 How times have changed. Apple is now recalling all of their laptops that use Sony batteries along with Dell (ouch!). Investors are literally holding their breath since Sony is betting their company on the PS3 due out in a couple of months. Sony’s stock is slowly being hit.

…But what of Nintendo’s? Remember the movie of Terminator 2 how the evil terminator, when shattered, took a long time for the first drops of liquid to cling back together? No one knew the figure was re-appearing until all the liquid was together and the machine fast reappeared to its previous formidable strength.

Imagine a shattered Nintendo, throughout the past few years, its droplets were slowly forming together and no one noticed. Now, the entire beast is reappearing before the industry’s eyes:

August 23rd – Yahoo Finance

The link has expired but I’ve copied it here:

Quote:

Nintendo’s Run Not Over Yet Wednesday August 23, 8:48 am ET

Steven Towns submits: Nintendo’s ADRs have gained 83% in the past 52-weeks as its ordinary shares have gained 96% — a difference in the yen/usd exchange; no real arbitrage opportunity here at this point. FISCO news of Japan reports the Daiwa Institute of Research sees even more potential upside between approximately 10% to 33% ahead of its new game console launch this November. And don’t forget the impact of foreign exchange profits!

Nintendo’s ordinary shares closed today up 0.85% at 22,470 yen (ADR equivalent of $24.28). Its ADRs closed yesterday at $23.95 — remember they are traded as pink sheets at a 1:0.125 ratio.

 Daiwa said that the more information Nintendo makes available about its Wii console launch the higher its share price could go as anticipation builds. Based on the launches of previous consoles, Daiwa sees Nintendo’s ordinary shares theoretically trading up to between 25,000 ($27 ADR equiv.) and 30,000 yen ($32.40 ADR equiv.). The first amount is based on the Nintendo 64 launch and the second is based on the Super Nintendo…

 July 25th – Bloomberg

Quote:

Nintendo Shares Gain as Rising DS Sales Boost Profit

 July 25 (Bloomberg) — Shares of Nintendo Co., the world’s biggest maker of handheld video game players, climbed to a 4 1/2- year high after the company raised its forecast for earnings as sales of the touch-screen DS device jumped.

 The stock jumped 5.6 percent to 22,000 yen as of 1:04 p.m. on the Osaka Securities Exchange, its highest since Jan. 21, 2002. Net income will probably be 83 billion yen in the year started April 1, the Kyoto-based company said yesterday, raising its forecast from 65 billion yen.

 Nintendo raised its outlook for sales of DS hardware and software as “New Super Mario Bros” became the top-selling U.S. title in June and “Brain Age” took the No. 3 spot. The company will be able to introduce more innovative games in the fourth quarter, when it releases the Wii home console that features a motion-sensitive controller.

 “Nintendo DS sales are strong in Japan and Europe and have turned up in the U.S. market, which had been a cause for concern,” Atsuko Kaneko, an analyst at UBS Securities Japan Ltd., wrote in a report dated yesterday. “The upswing in DS sales in the U.S. could also be a positive for sales of the Wii, which features a unique input device.” She rates the shares “buy.”…

 July 6th – Yahoo Asia News from Reuters

Quote:

TOKYO, July 6 (Reuters) – The following stocks are on the move on Thursday:

 **NINTENDO AT HIGHEST SINCE 2002, CS UPS TARGET**

 Nintendo Co. Ltd. rises 5.8 percent to 20,760 yen after rising as high as 21,000 yen, its highest since March 2002.

 Credit Suisse in a report on Wednesday raised its target price for the stock to 19,000 yen from 18,000 yen while maintaining its “neutral” rating.

 Credit Suisse said it now expects the company to post a 36.7 percent rise in consolidated operating profit in the year to March to 123.5 billion yen ($1.07 billion), up from its previous estimate of 116.3 billion yen in profit.

 The upward revision reflected an assumed weaker yen and continued strong sales in Japan of Nintendo DS hardware and software, Credit Suisse analyst Jay Defibaugh said…

 May 15th – Yahoo Asia News from Reuters

Quote: 

TOKYO, May 15 (Reuters) – The following stocks are on the move on Monday:

 **NINTENDO AT 4-YEAR HIGH ON Wii EXPECTATIONS**

Nintendo Co. Ltd. rises 6.2 percent to 19,710 yen after earlier climbing to as high as 19,890 yen, the highest level since April 2002.

The stock has gained since last Tuesday when the company said its next-generation video game console, Wii, will be available in the fourth quarter.

The console stole the spotlight at last week’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) show in the United States from Sony Corp.’s PlayStation 3, raising expectations for profit growth at Nintendo.

Shares of Sony are down 2.1 percent at 5,220 yen…