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2015 All-America Research Team: Airlines, No. 1: Jamie Baker

The J.P. Morgan researcher records his eighth consecutive No. 1 finish on this lineup.

Jamie Baker
J.P. Morgan
First-Place Appearances: 8

Total Appearances: 12

Analyst Debut: 2004

“Jamie is a pure ‘aerosexual’ — I could never see him doing something that did not involve airlines or airplanes,” declares one client of Jamie Baker, the J.P. Morgan researcher who records his eighth consecutive No. 1 finish on this lineup. Buy-side admirers single out for special praise Baker’s May examination of discounted cash flows. “While plenty of sectors already lend themselves to DCF analysis, the airline industry has never warranted such an approach,” says Baker, 47. However, he adds, the business has changed, and the market’s approach to evaluating these equities should keep pace. This line of thinking led the analyst to shift his outlook on JetBlue Airways Corp. from neutral to overweight. On a DCF valuation basis, the Long Island City, New York–based regional passenger carrier’s shares should trade at $28 by the end of this year, he projects. In mid-September they closed at $26.91, having advanced 24.7 percent since his May upgrade, while U.S. airlines overall were flat and the domestic broad market slumped 7.4 percent. “Jamie is the best person to talk to or read if you want to understand the implications of industry news,” insists another fund manager. “His work is insightful and honest, and he never lets his relationships with managements interfere with the truth.”

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