The 2014 All-Europe Research Team: Metals & Mining, No. 1: Jason Fairclough & team


< The 2014 All-Europe Research Team

Jason Fairclough & team
Bank of America
Merrill Lynch

First-Place Appearances: 4

Total Appearances: 20

Team Debut: 1992

Earning their fourth top appearance in the past five years, and second straight No. 1, the Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts directed by Jason Fairclough are “the voice of authority,” according to one U.K. portfolio manager, having both “experience and breadth.” London-based Fairclough, 42, and his team of 12 track 50 companies in Europe and emerging markets. In July, after a trip to China, the researchers anticipated a resurgence in Chinese demand for iron ore and reiterated their buy stance on British-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto. Through December the London Stock Exchange–listed shares rallied 30.9 percent, to 3,409.50 pence, well ahead of the sector’s 18 percent advance. Going forward, they peg Luxembourg’s ArcelorMittal as a smart way to play an expected European recovery, advising that the multinational steel manufacturer’s earnings have reached bottomed. They upgraded the stock from neutral to buy in November 2012, which appeared to be premature. But in August, with the shares down 12.1 percent, at €10.13, and trailing the sector by 2.6 percentage points, they pounded the table, reasoning that management’s cost-savings initiatives would be productive and ArcelorMittal would benefit from rising steel prices. Sure enough, through December the stock rebounded to €12.97, recording a life-of-call gain of 12.5 percent that bested the sector’s loss by 21.6 percentage points. These analysts “have the courage of their convictions,” asserts another backer.

See also Jason Fairclough’s profile in the 2013 All-Europe Research Team and the 2012 All-Europe Research Team.