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The 2013 All-America Research Team: Media, No. 1: Michael Nathanson
Michael Nathanson secures first place for a third straight year, and for seven of the past eight years.
Michael Nathanson secures first place for a third straight year, and for seven of the past eight years. He left Nomura Securities International in September to join former Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. colleague Craig Moffett’s independent firm, now MoffettNathanson. “It was time to take some chances and try to build a smaller, niche and independent approach to media,” says Nathanson, 50. “Michael combines deep industry knowledge with excellent stock-picking acumen,” hails one buy-side supporter. He surprised investors last year with a buy call on New York–based Interpublic Group of Cos. Having largely ignored the global advertising and marketing outfit’s shares since launching coverage nearly a decade earlier, the researcher went positive from neutral in August, at $10.08. Interpublic’s second-quarter results had fallen short of analyst expectations, and he saw an opportunity. “With massive balance-sheet flexibility [and] a very cheap multiple — uniquely cheap, actually — the risk-reward was compelling, as short-term quarterly misses had no bearing on full-year prospects,” he explains. The stock bolted 56 percent through August 2013, to $15.72. — Pam Baker