(Corrects volume to 1.2 billion shares, not yen, in 7th paragraph)

* Nissan plunges 4 pct; cuts earnings outlook after market close

* Utility stocks fall on profit-taking

By Ayai Tomisawa

TOKYO, April 24 (Reuters) – Japan’s Nikkei edged lower in choppy trade on Wednesday as investors stayed cautious before earnings results, but it remained around a 4-1/2-month high as sentiment was supported by a rally in U.S. stocks.

Nissan Motor Co tumbled 4 percent after TV Tokyo reported on late Tuesday that it would announce a large cut to its earnings outlook for the fiscal year that ended in March due to weak sales in North America and China.

After the market close, Nissan cut its earnings outlook and now expects a net profit