Van­guard funds are flat­ten­ing the com­pe­ti­tion

Bloomberg Businessweek (North America) - - Contents - �Tom Red­mond and Toshiro Hasegawa

Ha­ma­matsu has a 90 per­cent global mar­ket share in pho­to­mul­ti­pli­ers, which look like light­bulbs. Sales to aca­demic re­searchers rep­re­sent only 5 per­cent of the to­tal. The ma­jor­ity of rev­enue comes from med­i­cal and in­dus­trial ap­pli­ca­tions. In X-ray ma­chines, the mul­ti­pli­ers check ex­po­sure time or dose. Pol­lu­tion mon­i­tors em­ploy them to ob­serve the con­tent of car ex­haust fumes. They’re even used in drilling for oil wells to de­ter­mine the den­sity of rock.

Pres­i­dent Hiruma, a graduate of Rut­gers Univer­sity, is tak­ing the long view when it comes to in­creas­ing prof­itabil­ity. While many Ja­panese com­pa­nies are cut­ting back in­vest­ment, Ha­ma­matsu is hunt­ing for op­por­tu­ni­ties to in­crease re­turns via more cap­i­tal spend­ing. Hiruma says he’s in­ter­ested in re­search on dark mat­ter, a hith­erto invisible part of the uni­verse that he sees as a can­di­date for fu­ture No­bel prize-win­ning re­search. “We have this word in Ha­ma­matsu, yara­maika,” he says. “It means ‘Let’s do it.’ It’s the spirit of just giv­ing some­thing a go. You can cal­cu­late the risk of do­ing some­thing to some ex­tent. But there’s also the risk of not get­ting fu­ture busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties if you don’t.”

The bot­tom line With 90 per­cent of the mar­ket for pho­to­mul­ti­pli­ers, Ha­ma­matsu has earned a profit ev­ery year since it went pub­lic in 1996.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.