Nomura Holdings’ Chief Executive Officer Kentaro Okuda rewarded investors for sticking with a turnaround plan as his key investment banking and trading division returned to profit. The firm announced a buyback of up to ¥100 billion ($677 million).

A strong showing in fixed income trading helped lift revenues in global markets, while an uptick in deal-making and in its mainstay retail business also boosted earnings, Japan’s biggest brokerage said in a statement Wednesday.

"The negative aspects have been addressed as their retail business recovers while their wholesale operations have bottomed out,” said Satoru Matsumoto, an S&P Global Ratings analyst, cautioning the job isn’t finished. "Costs are high, and they are falling short of generating profit commensurable with them. We are continuing to watch that.”