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The 2015 All-Europe Research Team: Transport, No. 2: Penelope Butcher & team

Repeating in the No. 2 position on this lineup are Penelope Butcher, 36, and her London-based Morgan Stanley squad.

Penelope Butcher & team
Morgan Stanley
First-place appearances: 4

Total appearances: 16

Team debut: 1999

Repeating in the No. 2 position on this lineup are Penelope Butcher, 36, and her London-based Morgan Stanley squad. Among the 35 European transport companies they track, Britain’s Royal Mail is a recent addition. The team has closely monitored the stock since launching coverage on the delivery services provider in May with an underweight rating, at 516p. Competition was increasing, they advised at the time, but in mid-October the analysts saw hope in the form of a potential preholiday boost and raised the name to equal weight, at 412.60p. By then the shares had fallen 17.8 percent, against the sector’s decline of 16 percent. Their optimism on Royal Mail was short lived: In December they lowered their rating back to underweight, citing cash flow pressures, and assigned the stock a target price of 350p. It was then trading at 405.50p — having moved sideways even as its peers jumped 14.9 percent since their upgrade — but by the end of January had climbed to 435p. Despite the upturn, that 7.3 percent gain still lagged the sector’s performance, by 1.5 percentage points. At the other end of the spectrum is Irish discount airline Ryanair Holdings, which the Morgan Stanley crew has assigned an overweight rating since April 2013, when Butcher and her colleagues deemed the shares a bargain at €5.83, especially given management’s cost controls. Their positive outlook now also reflects the researchers’ approval of the carrier’s growing shre of primary airport space. During the 12 months through January 2015, Ryanair’s stock bolted 63.8 percent, to €10.40, and outperformed Europe’s broad market by 52.9 percentage points. Over the life of the call, the shares have paced their peers by 24.6 percent. “Their research is solid and substantive,” one fund manager sums up.


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