2015 All-America Research Team: Shipping, No. 1: J. Michael Webber Jr.

J. Michael Webber Jr. of Wells Fargo Securities claims first place on this new roster.

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< The 2015 All-America Research Team

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J. Michael
Webber Jr.
Wells Fargo Securities
First-Place Appearances: 1

Total Appearances: 1

Analyst Debut: 2015

J. Michael Webber Jr. of Wells Fargo Securities claims first place on this new roster. A graduate of the University of Virginia with a premed-oriented bachelor’s degree in sociology, the 33-year-old researcher has led coverage of the shipping and equipment leasing sectors for Wells Fargo Securities since returning to the firm in May 2010. His previous stint there was via Wells Fargo’s 2008 acquisition of Wachovia Capital Markets, where he tracked transportation equities for three years before moving to Deutsche Bank Securities in June 2009. At Deutsche, Webber reported on a panoply of transport and related industries. He now publishes research on 33 shipping companies and keeps tabs on an additional 20, maintaining “a good global read on the industry,” one fund manager comments. One recent addition to the analyst’s sector portfolio is Ireland-headquartered Ardmore Shipping Corp., owner of cargo carriers that haul chemicals and petroleum products. He launched coverage in March with an outperform rating, citing in part the growth of Ardmore’s tanker fleet. As of mid-September the stock was up 29.1 percent, at $12.91, while U.S. shippers overall slipped 4 percent. Looking ahead, Webber expects Golar LNG of Bermuda to perform well. The company owns and operates liquefied-natural-gas infrastructure, and its expansion beyond carriers to increase its presence in the nascent floating-LNG market — via its floating liquefaction vessels and floating storage and regasification units — wins the analyst’s favor. He pegs Golar’s Nasdaq Stock Market–quoted shares at $63, which implies an 82.7 percent upside to their value in mid-September. “Mike stays ahead of his peers, with valuable insights into emerging subsectors,” attests another buy-sider.

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Image Credit: Spencer Heyfron

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