Up one rung to second place is RBC Capital Markets’ Mark Mahaney, who is “really plugged in to the Silicon Valley start-up and venture capital communities,” one advocate states. The 49-year-old analyst reports on 35 U.S. Internet companies from his base in San Francisco and “correctly predicted that the sector was oversold and several key names were at trough levels,” another fund manager reports. That call was at the beginning of the year, when Mahaney named Seattle’s Amazon.com and Los Gatos, California–based Netflix his No. 1 and No. 2 pick, respectively, believing that both industry leaders were at inflection points. Sure enough, by the middle of last month, online retailer Amazon had bolted 74.1 percent, to $540.26, while subscription entertainment services provider Netflix had jumped 56.5 percent, to $102.62. During the same period, the sector gained 2.7 percent and the S&P 500 lost 4.9 percent. The analyst assigns the stocks respective price objectives of $705 and $140. “The biggest issues in the coming year,” he advises, “will be managing the ongoing consumer shift to mobile device Internet usage, the migration of TV ad budgets to online, the movement toward faster online retail fulfillment — next day or same day — and the opportunities for return of excess cash to shareholders.” Mahaney’s “delivery of his message in a set of succinct points is always very clear and digestible,” a third supporter observes.