Julien Dumoulin-Smith of UBS claims his second consecutive No. 2 finish on this lineup and debuts on the Alternative Energy roster in the same spot. “Julien is the best utilities analyst I’ve seen in my 35 years of following this sector,” one admirer declares. “The depth and breadth of his research are remarkable.” U.S. electric utilities shares lagged the broad market by 7.9 percentage points during the 12 months through mid-September, falling 12.8 percent, and Dumoulin-Smith advises that demand growth prospects remain lackluster. At the same time, he adds, the industry’s performance remains tied to wider state and federal energy policy ambitions, including the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, which opens up opportunities for natural-gas and renewables investments. Given this backdrop, he recommends that investors favor NextEra Energy, which has sizable solar and wind energy assets and, increasingly, associated infrastructure projects, the analyst notes. He anticipates that the Juno Beach, Florida–based company’s future strength will be geared toward “investing across the entire industry vertical associated with natural gas and its delivery to end consumers at its utilities.” Finally, Dumoulin-Smith, 30, points out that the energy provider’s core subsidiary in Florida is improving reliability and reducing delivered fuel costs for customers via “novel” investments throughout the integrated value chain. NextEra’s shares traded at $97.29 in mid-September, and he projects a rise to $115.