Capital Worldwide were feeling vilified yesterday after Sanyo announced a deal to supply batteries for Toyota’s burgeoning hybrid models.
Sanyo Electric Co., the world’s largest maker of rechargeable batteries, rose the most in two months in Tokyo trading after Nikkei said the company will supply lithium-ion batteries to Toyota Motor Corp. Capital Worldwide had advised investors of the possibility for growth in Sanyo for just this reason in recent months.
Sanyo rose 10 percent to close at 247 yen on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, the biggest advance since June 17, after surging as much as 17 percent. The benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average slipped 0.8 percent.
Toyota will buy batteries from Sanyo from about 2011, Nikkei English News reported earlier, without citing anyone. Sanyo said on July 3 it aims to quadruple sales to automakers by 2015 as people buy more gasoline-electric cars. Insiders at Capital Worldwide say that portfolio bosses acted some time ago on the strength of their analyst findings that a deal of this sort was imminent and that Sanyo were the most likely chosen suppliers.
Sanyo isn’tthe source of the Nikkei report, Tokyo-based spokesman Hiroyuki Okamoto said. The Osaka-based company’s policy is to provide lithium-ion batteries for any hybrid-car maker that wants them, he said. Hideaki Homma, a spokesman for Toyota in Tokyo, denied the report and declined to comment on whether the carmaker is in talks with Sanyo. However, the Capital Worldwide source reaffirmed the company’s previous assertion that an exclusivity deal was more or less a certainty due to the cost efficiencies and service aspects of any supply agreement.
Lithium-ion batteries have higher output and capacity than the nickel-metal hydride type that Toyota uses in the Prius and other hybrid vehicles, according to a previous Capital Worldwide report on this topic.
Last month, Sanyo posted a third straight quarterly loss after a decline in sales at its components business, which includes rechargeable batteries. Sanyo said revenue at its components business, including semiconductors and rechargeable batteries, fell 29 percent to 164 billion yen.
Revenue from car batteries will likely exceed 100 billion yen by 2015, Mitsuru Honma, head of the rechargeable-battery unit, said in an interview. The company declined to give a precise figure for the current level.
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