Stockholm-based David Halldén, 40, shepherds his three-strong UBS group from runner-up to third place. His colleagues are stationed in Frankfurt and London; together they monitor 11 European paper and packaging companies and keep tabs on many more names outside the sector. The researchers continue to see upside for two longtime favorites in this space: Ireland’s Smurfit Kappa Group, which manufactures paper-based packaging; and consumer products maker Svenska Cellulosa of Sweden. Free-cash-flow generation and rising containerboard prices are catalysts for Smurfit Kappa, they advise; while Svenska Cellulosa is demonstrating strong earnings growth, particularly in its tissues business, and widespread operational cost savings. Over the 12 months through January, the stocks delivered strong performance, leaping 30 percent, to €21.86, and 15.9 percent, to Sf200.20, respectively, while Europe’s broad market climbed 8 percent. UBS’s ongoing sell rating on Finnish diversified paper maker Stora Enso, however, generates mixed reviews. The analysts’ negative stance is based primarily on weak paper pricing, but the shares have more than held their own of late, rising 21.8 percent, to €8.61, over the year through last month. “David has many years of experience and a first-rate network of sources supporting his views,” one supporter says.