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2015 All-America Research Team: Pharmaceuticals/Specialty, No. 1: Umer Raffat
The 31-year-old analyst earns his first appearance on the All-America Research Team, stepping all the way up to secure first place on this roster.
Total Appearances: 1
Analyst Debut: 2015
For the past two years, buy-siders deemed Evercore ISI’s Umer Raffat a Rising Star of Wall Street Research, for his coverage of biotechnology names in 2013 and for his reporting on specialty pharmaceuticals equities in 2014. Now the 31-year-old analyst earns his first appearance on the All-America Research Team, stepping all the way up to secure first place on this roster and unseat six-time champion Aharon (Ronny) Gal of Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., who slips to No. 2. Raffat tracked biotech companies at Deutsche Bank Securities with mentor Mark Schoenebaum — the only analyst to top three sectors this year — and in June 2010 both men moved to ISI Group, which Evercore Partners acquired last October. Raffat received a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Texas at Arlington and holds a master’s degree in global health economics from Massachusetts’ Harvard University. Raffat “offers the most complete, thorough and timely analysis in the industry, by far,” affirms one money manager. “He kept me out of more blowups and in more winners than everyone else combined.” Consolidation in the specialty pharmaceuticals industry has been bolstering the sector’s performance, Raffat reports. “M&A activity has been high in the recent past because of the interest rates, as well as the size of highly acquisitive companies,” such as Allergan and Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, he says. Canada’s Valeant, a leading developer of treatments for central nervous system disorders, is among the analyst’s favorite names. “Investors are still not 100 percent sure about the base business,” he notes, “but I believe there are enough disclosures out there to get significant clarity on the base business — and I think the stock is cheap on base business alone.” Raffat’s price objective for Valeant’s New York–listed shares is $300. As of the middle of last month, they were trading at $242.14, having soared 106.4 percent since early September 2014, when he began urging investors to buy. During the same period, the broad market lost 2.1 percent. “Despite being new to the space, Umer has brought an unprecedented level of analytical rigor and depth to bear, with profound impact,” a second admirer attests. “This, combined with an impressive continuation of the tradition of best-in-class client service built by his mentor Mark Schoenebaum, makes Umer an indispensable force in specialty pharma.”