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Canon, Inc. Value Stock - Dividend - Research Selection


ISIN: JP3242800005 , WKN: 853055

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Description of the company

Canon Inc. is a joint stock corporation (kabushiki kaisha) formed under the Corporation Law of Japan. Its principal place of business is at 30-2, Shimomaruko 3-chome, Ohta-ku, Tokyo 146-8501, Japan. The telephone number is +81-3-3758-2111.


The Company was incorporated under the laws of Japan on August 10, 1937 to produce and sell Japan’s first focal plane shutter 35mm still camera, which was developed by its predecessor company, Precision Optical Research Laboratories, which was organized in 1933.


In the late 1950s, Canon entered the business machines field utilizing technology obtained through the development of photographic and optical products. With the successful introduction of electronic calculators in 1964, Canon continued to expand its operations to include plain paper copying machines, faxes, laser printers, bubble jet printers, computers, video camcorders and digital cameras.


On March 17, 2016, Canon entered into a Shares and Other Securities Transfer Agreement with Toshiba Corporation and acquired the share options for consideration of cash to acquire all the ordinary shares of Toshiba Medical Systems Corporation (“TMSC”)(Canon Medical Systems Corporation as of January 4, 2018), which is exercisable upon the clearances of necessary competition regulatory authorities. As such clearances were obtained, Canon exercised the share options and acquired all the ordinary shares of TMSC on December 19, 2016. The acquisition date was December 19, 2016 and the purchase price was ¥665,498 million, which approximates the fair value at that date. Under Phase V of the Excellent Global Corporation Plan, a five-year initiative that Canon has been implementing since 2016, “embracing the challenge of new growth through a grand strategic transformation” has been set as a basic policy. With regard to “strengthening and growing new businesses, and creating future businesses,” a particularly important strategy, Canon intends to develop a health care business within the realm of “safety and security,” as a next-generation pillar of growth.


In 2017, 2016, and 2015, Canon’s increases in property, plant and equipment were ¥147,542 million, ¥171,597 million and ¥195,120 million, respectively. In 2017, the increases in property, plant and equipment were mainly used to expand production capabilities in both domestic and overseas regions, and to bolster Canon’s production-technology-related infrastructure. In addition, Canon has been continually investing in tools and dies for business machines, in which the amount invested is generally the same each year.


For 2018, Canon projects to invest in property, plant and equipment of approximately ¥200,000 million. This amount is expected to be spent for investments in new production plants and new facilities of Canon. Canon anticipates that the funds needed for this increase will be generated internally through operations.


Business overview


Canon is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of office multifunction devices (“MFDs”), plain paper copying machines, laser printers, inkjet printers, cameras, diagnostic equipment and lithography equipment.


Canon sells its products principally under the Canon brand name and through sales subsidiaries. Each of these subsidiaries is responsible for marketing and distribution to retail dealers in an assigned territory. In 2017, 78.3% of consolidated net sales were generated outside Japan, with approximately 27.1%, 25.2% and 26.0% generated in the Americas, Europe and Asia and Oceania, respectively.


Canon’s strategy is to develop innovative, high value-added products incorporating advanced technologies.


Canon’s research and development activities range from basic research to product-oriented research directed at maintaining and increasing Canon’s technological leadership in the marketplace.


Canon will work to realize the optimized global allocation of its production assets based on changes in local conditions in each country. Canon has manufacturing subsidiaries in a variety of countries, including the United States, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Taiwan, China, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines, other than Japan.


As a concerned member of the world community, Canon emphasizes recycling and has increased its use of clean energy sources and cleaner manufacturing processes. Canon has also launched programs to collect and recycle used Canon cartridges and to refurbish used Canon copying machines. In addition, Canon has removed virtually all environmentally unfriendly chemicals from its manufacturing processes.




Canon operates its business in four segments: the “Office Business Unit,” the “Imaging System Business Unit,” the “Medical System Business Unit” which was newly established in 2017 and the “Industry and Others Business Unit”.


- Office Business Unit -


Canon manufactures, markets and services a full range of MFDs, printers, copying machines for personal and office use and production print products for print professionals. Canon also delivers added value to customers through software, services and solutions. Canon’s offerings cater to a broad market from Small Office Home Office (“SOHO”), and Small and Midsize Business (“SMB”) to large enterprises and professional graphic arts companies.


In the industry, customer preference has been shifting from monochrome to color products and from hardware to services and solutions. Especially in the professional print market, customers are increasingly turning to short-run, print-on-demand and variable data printing. The importance of connectivity, mobility, security, integration, workflow and cloud-based web services is growing, and such added value is increasingly delivered together with hardware. Canon seeks to maintain its position as a market leader in these fast-changing markets.


In 2017, Canon expanded our hardware offerings by introducing the new A3 color MFPs; the image RUNNER ADVANCE C3500 series and completed the introduction of our third-generation imageRUNNER ADVANCE products with enhanced operability and productivity. Canon also launched high-speed monochrome production devices; varioPRINT 140 series and VarioPrint 6330 series. The faster output capability of these new product series provides broad coverage for fast delivery and small-lot variable data printing needs of our customers.


In software, services and solutions, Canon was one of the first vendors to launch its application development platform, the Multifunctional Embedded Application Platform (“MEAP”) which allows the creation of customized applications for Canon MFDs enabling users to fully take advantage of the power of our MFDs. Canon is reinforcing its solutions capability through offerings such as imageWARE software suite and uniFLOW, business process automation software Enterprise Imaging Platform (“EIP”) and Canon MDS, a device management solution that reduces total cost of ownership.


To maintain and enhance its competitive edge and to meet increasingly sophisticated customer demands, Canon is committed to the continued reinforcement of Canon’s hardware and software offerings and solutions capability.


As for laser printers, Canon has focused on expanding sales of high value-added products from mid to high-end class, especially for MFP, resulted in increased sales and market share in the said products category successfully. Canon, however, is experiencing fierce competition with aggressive competitors in the laser printer market and an eventual decline in sales prices is becoming a major threat, in addition to concerns over lagging growth of the entire market due to a decrease in demand for printing, which has been caused by changes in printing behavior related to the prevalent use of smartphone, cloud computing, etc.


In response, Canon is going to accelerate current momentum to increase sales quantity and market share by enhancing competitiveness in contractual business market by making the most of technical innovation and executing optimum sales strategies created closely for each region/products. Furthermore, Canon aims to maximize business efficiency through making continuous efforts to achieve cost reductions and optimization of its supply chain.


- Imaging System Business Unit -


Canon manufactures and markets digital cameras and digital camcorders, as well as lenses and various related accessories.


In 2017, Canon strengthened its product lineup by launching six new digital interchangeable-lens cameras, including a compact and lightweight full frame model EOS 6D Mark II for the first time in five years, and an entry level yet high performance mirrorless cameras EOS M100. These new models as well as the current models pushed sales and Canon maintained number one market share in the field of digital interchangeable-lens cameras in volume terms in 2017 in the major regions, such as the United States, Europe, and Japan. Canon aims to expand the imaging domains of EOS, and believes there remains considerable room for future growth through development of new products based on state-of-the-art technology such as higher picture quality, small and light weight body and versatile movie / network functions.


Canon launched seven new lens products for digital SLR. The interchangeable lens lineup currently exceeds 90 products, including Cinema Lenses (EF-Mount). By enhancing its core capability, Canon has been introducing high-quality and high-performance lenses developed by superior optical technology and new elemental technology, which Canon believes allowed it to maintain its advantage over the competition.


As for compact digital cameras, while the overall market has been shrinking, the premium segment with relatively large sensor size has been performing steadily. In such circumstance, in the second half of the year, Canon launched a new flagship model PowerShot G1 X Mark III, featuring APS-C CMOS sensor, the largest sensor ever in a Canon point and shoot camera. Canon aims to strengthen its premium lineup further and strives to improve its profitability. Including those premium models, Canon launched a total of six models, and plans to maintain its full-line up strategy to meet a wide range of customer needs.


In compact photo printer market, along with the increasing demand for photo printing from smart devices, Canon has performed well. With its advantages, such as easy operation, portability, and lab-quality photo print,SELPHY has gained a strong market position in each region. The new SELPHY CP1300 with advanced usability launched in the second half of this year has shown high sales performance. Canon plans to tap new customer demand and will seek to maintain its lead in this market.


The market for conventional camcorders has been shrinking, as many other popular devices start adding a movie function. In this environment, Canon aims to expand sales in this market with a product lineup with higher value added based on Canon’s distinctive high-definition, high-resolution technologies. In the field of professional camcorders, Canon introduced the new models EOS C200/C200B; digital cinema cameras which are capable of recording 4K video in new format “Cinema RAW Light,” and XF405/400; compact and lightweight camcorders which are capable of shooting 4K/60P video with newly developed 15x optical zoom lens. Canon aims to solidify its top position in the motion picture production market by introducing new products that suit a wide variety of market requirements.


Canon experienced robust growth in the field of projectors for business applications, and in particular brighter, installation type projectors. In this market, Canon offers a range of products focusing on high resolution projectors of WUXGA and 4K with its advanced optical technologies. In 2017, Canon launched two WUXGA models with LCOS panels and four world smallest and lightest 4K laser projectors*, 4K600STZ” and “4K600Z”, which meet the various usage requirements of customers such as maintenance-free use and easy installation. Canon plans to expand the projector business with its high-resolution product lineup including 4K and advance Canon’s position in the market.


* Among 5000 lumen-class laser projectors that exceed native 4K resolutions as of the end of November, 2017

In the broadcast HDTV lens market, demand remains stable from sports broadcasting in developed countries and from switchover to HD in developing countries, and Canon continues to maintain a large share of the TV lens market with high value-added products. Meanwhile, demand for 2/3” format 4K lenses is increasing especially in Europe and Asia, and Canon will expand the product lineup to meet this demand. On the other hand, Canon launched *CN-E 70-200mm T4.4 L IS KAS S as second edition of “COMPACT SERVO” EF Cinema zoom lens series, which has excellent operability and mobility that meet various shooting styles, and also has optical performance compatible with both 4K and HD cameras. This lens is getting great reviews in the market.


* Compatible with Super35mm sensor. Equivalent to 107-307mm in 35mm full size calculation.

Inkjet printer technology has been evolving, driving expansion of application from home use to office and commercial use such as poster printing and photo printing that require high-quality.


Canon offers a wide variety of products to meet such needs based on its core technology Full-photolithography Inkjet Nozzle Engineering (“FINE”), which enables realization of high-speed printing and high image quality at the same time.


For home use, Canon offers such printer solutions as Canon PRINT Inkjet to tighten the connection with cloud computing, smartphones and tablet PCs. Canon also offers more compact body, premium design, convenient front & rear dual paper feeder, a larger and easy to read liquid crystal touchscreen panel. Canon hopes such enhancement of function and service will increase user-friendliness and satisfaction of users.


In 2014, Canon launched the new brand MAXIFY in the business inkjet printer segment, targeting the growing SOHO market. In 2016, Canon also launched new models with network management capability. The MAXIFY printer series features Canon’s leading inkjet technologies such as high-quality printing with fast printing, and a low total cost of ownership.


In 2016, Canon launched Refillable Ink Tank Printers that achieved high productivity and cost saving by featuring built-in ink tanks, for business use in emerging market.

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