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The 2015 All-Europe Research Team: Benelux, No. 3: Erwin Dut & team

Erwin Dut shepherds his Kempen & Co. team of five up one position to third place.

Erwin Dut & team
Kempen & Co.
First-place appearances: 0

Total appearances: 9

Team debut: 1998

Erwin Dut shepherds his Kempen & Co. team of five up one position to third place. Based in Amsterdam and reporting on 62 Benelux companies, the group earns top billing from one client who says: “They’re well-staffed, they cover lots of names, and they provide local insights in a market that’s not always well understood. Specifically, they’ve been very good at covering the real estate market and picking stocks in the sector.” For the year ahead, Kempen’s researchers are bullish on Netherlands–headquartered Aalberts Industries but bearish on Belgium’s Bekaert. Industrial manufacturing and engineering conglomerate Aalberts is likely to outperform in 2015 as management tightens controls over both costs and operations with increased integration of its business units, they believe, which should also capture more synergies and spur profitability. “As such,” the 42-year-old Dut says, “we expect further improvement of its already impressive return on capital of almost 15 percent.” He and his colleagues assign Aalberts’s stock a target price of €30, implying a 17.1 percent upside to its trading value at the end of last month. The analysts, however, urge investors to shun — or short — specialty steelmaker Bekaert, on the grounds of a low level of activity in the U.S., reflecting weak demand, as well as its exposure to lagging economies in Latin American markets and overcapacity in Asia, which is compressing pricing. At the end of January, Bekaert’s shares were trading at €26.75, and Dut and his team foresee a decline to €22.

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