TOKYO - The Tokyo stock market is welcoming new Mazda Motor Corp. President Mark Fields with jeers not cheers.
On Thursday, January 13, Mazda's stock price closed in Tokyo at 420 yen, down 26 percent from 570 yen, the closing price on December 15, the day that Fields suddenly was named Mazda's new president. During that same period, Japan's Nikkei 225 stock index rose 4 percent.
Of course, the decline may not be solely due to Fields. Mazda recently posted its first group profit in six years, but the company's turnaround is by no means complete.
'Mazda is like a patient which just got out of the intensive care unit,' said Christopher Richter, Tokyo-based auto analyst for HSBC Securities. 'Its health is still very tentative.'
Still, its stock price ranged between 478 and 605 yen since September 7, then began a steep slide on December 16. The drop put the stock price's performance relative to the Nikkei 225 in negative territory for the first time since April 28, 1998.
Even compared to other carmakers' stock prices, Mazda's price has suddenly turned lower. For instance, the price's performance relative to the price of Toyota Motor Corp. stock dipped below parity for the first time since April 23, 1998. It also retreated relative to the stock price of Honda Motor Co., Nissan Motor Co., and Mitsubishi Motors Corp.