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2015 All-America Research Team: Electric Utilities, No. 1: Steven Fleishman

Repeating in first place, All-America Research Team Hall of Famer Steven Fleishman earns his 13th appearance at No. 1 since 1997.

Steven Fleishman
Wolfe Research
First-Place Appearances: 13

Total Appearances: 17

Analyst Debut: 1996

Repeating in first place, All-America Research Team Hall of Famer Steven Fleishman earns his 13th appearance at No. 1 since 1997, the year after he made his debut appearance, as a runner-up. And little wonder, considering the acclaim the Wolfe Research analyst receives from the buy side. “Steve knows the industry, knows the managements, knows what works and what doesn’t,” one money manager asserts. “Equally important, he cuts through the complexity of regulations and numbers to provide investment insights that are useful and relevant.” Domestic regulated utilities are suffering from investors’ positioning for monetary tightening from the U.S. Federal Reserve, says Fleishman, 46. But valuations are reasonable, and the stocks can return 9 percent, he believes, which is “pretty competitive against the market over the next three to five years, given continued troubles with sustaining growth for the economy.” During the 12 months through mid-September, U.S. electric utilities slipped 1.6 percent, while the S&P 500 fell 2.6 percent. Names the researcher is touting include NextEra Energy of Juno Beach, Florida, and San Diego–based Sempra Energy. “They provide a good balance between the stability of the utility model and much better growth in their big infrastructure businesses,” he explains. Specifically, NextEra is a top electric utility and a leader in the U.S. renewables space, Fleishman notes, while Sempra operates a gas utility business and one of the most attractive liquefied-natural-gas export projects, as well as being a top energy infrastructure company in Mexico. His respective price objectives for the stocks are $123 and $121, implying upsides of 26.4 percent and 30.9 percent to their values in mid-September. “Steve is very good at analyzing things in context — utilities versus their own histories and each other, utilities versus the broader market and market reactions over time. This is very valuable,” another backer avers.


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