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The 2015 All-Europe Research Team: Capital Goods, No. 1: Mark Troman & team

Troman, 44, guides his London-based team of four to a repeat first-place finish.

Mark Troman & team
Bank of America
Merrill Lynch
First-Place Appearances: 7

Total Appearances: 38

Team Debut: 1987

Mark Troman and his Bank of America Merrill Lynch squad are “top-notch, dependable and good stock pickers,” says one portfolio manager. Troman, 44, guides his London-based team of four to a repeat first-place finish. The analysts report on 35 European capital goods names and deem Sweden’s Atlas Copco and Assay Abloy among the best in the group and Britain’s Spectris a name to avoid. Encouraged by rising industrial demand, in January 2014 they upgraded Atlas Copco from neutral to buy. The manufacturer supplies equipment to building, construction, manufacturing and mining companies around the globe, and the researchers liked its strong balance sheet and dividend yield. At the same time, however, they lowered their rating on Spectris, which makes computerized industrial control systems, from neutral to underperform. Despite the company’s opportunity to benefit from a pick-up in economic activity going into that year, its stock was already trading at a premium in an expensive sector, they advised. Sure enough, by the end of last month, Atlas Copco had rocketed 40.4 percent, to 245.30 Swedish kronor, while Spectris had slumped 15 percent, to 2,090p. During the same period, the sector inched up 1.1 percent. As for Assa Abloy, the electronic security equipment producer has been a top BofA Merrill pick since March, when the company’s expanding business from the U.S. prompted the analysts to pound the table. The stock soared 40.4 percent, to Skr452.30, through January, outperforming its peers by 36 percentage points, and clients are cheering. “Their views are solid and trustworthy,” sums up another admirer.

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