UBS’s European utilities researchers post their fourth consecutive No. 1 finish and seventh trip to this winner’s circle in eight years. Under the stewardship of 38-year-old Alberto Gandolfi since 2011, the six-person, London-headquartered team tracks 30 companies, winning plaudits from one admirer for its “in-depth, country-by-country knowledge.” In July the analysts turned sour on Germany’s RWE, downgrading their rating on the electricity distributor from neutral to sell. Declining demand in Asia was contributing to an oversupply of coal, which in turn was exerting downward pressure on prices, they noted. RWE’s stock has traded generally downward since, plunging 46.4 percent by the middle of last month, to €10.40, compared with the regional sector’s loss of 9.7 percent. “They are ahead of the competition on new technologies,” attests one fund manager who points to the squad’s reporting on Italy-based renewable energy producer Enel as exemplary. Gandolfi and his colleagues resumed coverage on the company last January with a buy rating, largely crediting the performance of its rapid-growth solar business. Through the middle of last month, the shares posted a gain of 3.1 percent, to €3.67, and led Europe’s utilities names overall by 12.6 percentage points. At €4.85, the group’s target price for Enel implies additional upside of 32.2 percent. “Alberto makes good calls with high impact,” offers another client.