Bloomberg News

Olympus Shares Drop After Ratings Cut on President’s Ouster

October 16, 2011

(Updates with comment from analyst in fourth paragraph.)

Oct. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Olympus Corp., the Japanese camera and medical-equipment maker, fell by a record for a second straight day after at least six brokerages cut their ratings following the dismissal of President Michael C. Woodford.

The shares tumbled as much as 24 percent, the most since Sept. 11, 1974, to 1,561 yen and traded down 17 percent at 9:28 a.m. in Tokyo. The stock plunged 18 percent on Oct. 14, the day the company announced the ouster of Woodford following disagreements about his management methods.

JPMorgan Chase & Co., Nomura Holdings Inc. and at least four other brokerages slashed their ratings on the Tokyo-based company’s stock. Woodford commissioned an external auditor’s report, which found that Olympus should investigate payments made to advisers in connection with an acquisition, according to a copy of the report obtained by Bloomberg News.

“The board’s explained rationale completely contradicts its praise for Woodford less than two weeks ago,” Goldman Sachs Group Inc. analysts Toshiya Hari and Kenya Moriuchi wrote in a report dated Oct. 14. The bank downgraded the stock to “neutral” from “buy.”

--Editors: Anand Krishnamoorthy, Terje Langeland

To contact the reporters on this story: Gearoid Reidy in Tokyo at greidy1@bloomberg.net; Kazuyo Sawa in Tokyo at ksawa3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anand Krishnamoorthy at anandk@bloomberg.net


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