The 2014 All-Russia Research Team: Utilities, No. 1: Mikhail Rasstrigin

Mikhail Rasstrigin
VTB Capital

First-Place Appearances: 2

Total Appearances: 3

Analyst Debut: 2012

VTB Capital’s Mikhail Rasstrigin, 31, holds on to the top position on this roster, which he first captured last year. In March 2013 the analyst wowed investors with a 35-page report, “Playing Dividends Could Well Pay Dividends,” introducing a new valuation approach for utilities stocks that takes dividend yield into account as a key component. “He rightly pointed out that investment performance of certain names will largely correlate with their ability and willingness to pay dividends,” recalls one reader. “The main thesis was to underweight major companies in the sector, which was very much the right call.” In that piece, for instance, Rasstrigin reiterated his sell rating on the country’s largest hydroelectricity power generator, Moscow-based Federal Hydrogenerating Co., or RusHydro, primarily because its dividend was low. By the end of May 2014, the global depositary receipts had fallen 11.1 percent, to $1.92, and trailed Russia’s broad market by 6.9 percentage points. On the other hand, one favorite in his 24-company sector portfolio is E.ON Russia, which the researcher urged investors to buy in March, raising his rating from hold thanks to management’s plans to build a new power plant and raise the dividend. Shares of the Moscow-based energy supplier closed May at 2.76 rubles, up 40.8 percent and ahead of its peers by 12.9 percentage points. “At a time when crowd-thinking dominates,” another fund manager says, “Mikhail is clearly unafraid to stand against the consensus, which is both rare and valuable.”