The 2014 All-Europe Research Team: Utilities, No. 3: Christopher Kuplent & team

< The 2014 All-Europe Research Team

Christopher Kuplent & team
Bank of America Merrill Lynch

First-place appearances: 6

Total appearances: 21

Team debut: 1992

London-based Christopher Kuplent leads his Bank of America Merrill Lynch quintet to third place, down one position from last year. “Chris is an independent thinker who really aided our fund’s performance,” reports one pension manager in London. The analysts monitor 30 names, including Vestas Wind Systems, on which they reinstated coverage in August with a buy rating. The Danish wind-turbine maker was aggressively cutting costs and that month completed a management overhaul with its appointment of Anders Runevad as incoming CEO, they noted. Moreover, Vestas stood to benefit from industrywide capacity reductions, improved pricing and strong long-term demand. Through December the shares shot up 61.1 percent, to 160.20 Danish kroner, while the sector rose 8 percent. Their current top pick is French diversified utility company GDF Suez, upgraded from neutral to buy in December as a bargain at €16.48, thanks to its free cash flow and strong balance sheet.

See also Christopher Kuplent’s profile in the 2013 All-Europe Research Team.