The 2014 All-America Research Team: Telecom Services, No. 2: Simon Flannery
< The 2014 All-America Research TeamSimon FlanneryMorgan StanleyFirst-place appearances: 6
Total appearances: 19
Team debut: 1998For a second year running, Morgan Stanley’s Simon Flannery wins second place on this list. His telecommunications services portfolio encompasses 25 stocks, and Flannery believes that the sector will perform in line with the broader market over the next year. He is focusing clients’ attention on three hot debates affecting his group: the notion that a wireless price war is inevitable, the question of dividend sustainability and concerns regarding regulatory overhang. “We see headwinds from some of these factors,” Flannery says, “but this is balanced by high dividend yields, which provide support in a low-interest-rate environment.” One long-standing favorite among tower players is SBA Communications Corp. of Boca Raton, Florida. The researcher reiterated his overweight rating on the stock in December 2013, citing management’s focus on increasing the company’s portfolio holdings and lease-ups to bolster top-line growth and margins, as well as SBAC’s international expansion, particularly into Brazil. By mid-September the stock had climbed 29.7 percent, to $111.35, and led the sector by 26.7 percentage points. Flannery projects a further rise to $113.