Mizuho back to profit for April-Dec, keeps outlook

TOKYO, Jan 29 (BestGrowthStock) – Mizuho Financial Group (8411.T: ),
Japan’s second-largest bank by assets, posted a return to profit
for April-December on Friday, helped by lower loan losses and an
improvement in its stock portfolio, and it stuck to its full-year
outlook.

Mizuho, which is expected to soon follow its rivals and issue
new shares to meet stricter global regulations, said nine-month
group net profit was 126.28 billion yen ($1.40 billion), versus a
50.6 billion yen net loss a year earlier when the bank was hurt
by losses on its massive stock holdings.

Citigroup’s Hironari Nozaki, one of the few analysts to give
nine-month estimates for Japanese banks, had predicted net profit
of 122.8 billion yen.

Mizuho stuck to its forecast for a full-year profit of 200
billion yen, beating an average 178 billion yen estimate of 12
analysts, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Starmine
SmartEstimate shows a downside surprise of 3.6 percent.

Japan’s biggest lenders have been slow to recover from the
global credit crisis, hurt by their dependence on domestic
lending and rock-bottom interest rates.

Although Japan’s economy has begun to recover from its worst
postwar recession, the improvement has been slight, making
companies wary of taking on new loans. [ECILT/JP] Domestic
lending fell for the first time in four years in December, Bank
of Japan data showed. [JPBNK=ECI]

Shares of Mizuho have risen 5.4 percent so far this year,
after losing more than a third of their value in 2009. Tokyo’s
index of bank stocks (.IBNKS.T: ) is up 4.3 percent on the year.

Stock Trading
(Reporting by David Dolan, Editing by Ian Geoghegan)

Mizuho back to profit for April-Dec, keeps outlook