Consumer: Retailing/Food & Drug Chains
Meredith Adler, with Barclays Capital following the acquisition of Lehman Brothers last month, takes top honors for a seventh straight year. Adler, 54, is “unique among her peers in her degree of skepticism,” says one client.
Meredith Adler Barclays
John Heinbockel Goldman Sachs
Deborah Weinswig Citi
Neil Currie UBS
Meredith Adler, with Barclays Capital following the acquisition of Lehman Brothers last month, takes top honors for a seventh straight year. Adler, 54, is “unique among her peers in her degree of skepticism,” says one client. In February the analyst urged investors to sell Whole Foods Markets, at $38.55, because she feared the Austin, Texas–based grocer’s reputation as high-end would not benefit it in a weakening economy. Whole Foods’ share price had plummeted to $18.43 by mid-September, a loss of 52.2 percent against a sector gain of 9.3 percent. John Heinbockel of Goldman, Sachs & Co., who rises one notch to second place, “is a throwback to the days when analysts really knew their companies,” says one buy-sider. Heinbockel upgraded Kroger Co. in April, at $26.08, on valuation. Shares of the Cincinnati-based supermarket chain rose to $30.32 before falling with the rest of the market but by mid-September were still up 6.9 percent, to $27.89, since his upgrade. Deborah Weinswig finishes third; she is also No. 1 in Retailing/Broadlines & Department Stores. The Citi analyst is “ever-present in monitoring the goings-on of food and drug chains,” says one investor. Weinswig initiated coverage of Safeway in May 2007 with a sell rating, on competitive pressures facing the Pleasanton, California–based supermarket operator. The stock had fallen 26.5 percent by mid-September.