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2015 All-America Research Team: Cable & Satellite, No. 1: Benjamin Swinburne

One of only two analysts to headline more than one roster this year, Morgan Stanley’s Benjamin Swinburne logs his third consecutive No. 1.

Benjamin Swinburne
Morgan Stanley
First-Place Appearances: 3

Total Appearances: 8

Analyst Debut: 2008

One of only two analysts to headline more than one roster this year, Morgan Stanley’s Benjamin Swinburne logs his third consecutive No. 1 appearance on this roster and repeats his first-place showing on the Media lineup. (The other multiple-sector winner is Mark Schoenebaum of Evercore ISI, who leads three health care sectors.) Swinburne, 40, “has a unique ability to understand both granular details and larger strategic issues facing his industries,” one portfolio manager asserts. Of the 30 names the researcher covers, nine are U.S. cable or satellite companies, and he prefers this group over media shares. He projects that cable operators will continue to take broadband and video market share from their telecommunications competitors into 2016, in both the U.S. and Europe. Through the end of next year, Swinburne projects that additional driving themes will include “the regulatory outlook following the closing of one major merger in the sector and another currently under review, the evolution of the pay-TV ecosystem given the emergence of ‘skinny’ bundles and over-the-top offerings, and the potential entry of cable into wireless.” His top pick is broadcaster Liberty Media Corp. of Englewood, Colorado. Boosted from equal weight to overweight in July 2014, the company wins Swinburne’s favor largely because it owns 57 percent of New York–based leading satellite radio services provider Sirius XM Holdings, whose fundamentals he finds compelling. “Buying Liberty Media today allows investors to essentially buy SIRI at an approximately 10 to 15 percent discount,” he explains. “We continue to believe SIRI’s success in the used car channel will drive net adds, even as new car adds moderate. We also believe SIRI’s in-dash exclusivity is a long-term barrier to entry that is underappreciated by the market.” Since the analyst’s upgrade, Liberty Media’s shares have climbed 3.7 percent, rising to $37.29 in mid-September and outperforming the broad market by 4.5 percentage points. “Ben does a great job at industry analysis, in addition to individual company fundamentals,” a second backer observes. “He periodically puts out long-term-oriented pieces on industry trends and changes that are happening at record pace in the area he covers.”


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