Björn Jansson shepherds his troupe to the top, marking the Carnegie Investment Bank crew’s return to this lineup after a year’s absence as well as its first appearance in the winner’s circle under his stewardship. The 52-year-old leader guided SEB Equities to No. 1 five times during his 11-year tenure there, most recently in 2006. He joined Carnegie three years later and was appointed CEO at the end of September. Headquartered in Stockholm — and with offices in Copenhagen, Helsinki and Oslo — the group of 45 analysts tracks 330 Nordic stocks, impressing clients with its knowledge and expansive coverage of local markets. “They’re especially good on industrials and at providing insights on corporate governance,” one fund manager offers. “Largely because of their experience, they give you a lot of value-added intelligence on board members and other key players.” One familiar Carnegie favorite is Pandora, a Copenhagen-based jewelry manufacturer that the researchers have touted since November 2011. At 829 Danish kroner in mid-January, its share price is 20 times higher than it was then, but Jansson and his associates consider it a “highly undervalued” gem. Pandora is expected to add 300 concept stores during each of the next three years, which they believe will generate sales at a compounded growth rate of 18 percent annually through 2018. In addition, sustained downward pressure on commodities prices is contributing to stable profit margins, the crew advises, and management’s cash redistribution policy is projected to result in a 4 to 5 percent annual decline in the number of the jeweler’s shares outstanding. This, in turn, has the potential to spur earnings-per-share expansion of greater than 20 percent for three years, they forecast. The researchers further point out that Pandora’s penetration into Asian markets remains limited and far below that of comparable luxury and consumer brands, affording it ample room for growth. Its stock — up 82.3 percent over the past 12 months alone, while the OMX Nordic 40 index was flat — earns a price objective of Dkr1,100. In what it admits is a controversial call, Carnegie’s squad is also backing shares of Sandvik, a Stockholm-based provider of metal-cutting and machinery tools that has fallen into disfavor along with capital goods companies generally. Jansson notes that 75 percent of the manufacturer’s sales derive from activities that have “strong market positions,” even as an actively involved chairman and savvy new chief executive are leading an aggressive restructuring campaign. Sandvik will exit industries where it does not hold a top-two position, which should bolster its return on capital to 20 percent from 15 percent, he adds. “We think Sandvik is a higher-quality business than what investors give it credit for,” the team leader sums up. They believe that a price of 100 Swedish kronor is justified for the stock, which closed at Skr66.70 in mid-January.