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Western European Countries – France: Third

Arnaud Joly & team
Crédit Agricole Cheuvreux

Down one notch to No. 3 is the 31-member Crédit Agricole Cheuvreux squad directed by newcomer Arnaud Joly in Paris. The analysts report on 130 French stocks, six more than last year, and display an “outstanding grasp of French capital flows,” in the words of one investor. Adds another: “They have a deep understanding of the small-cap and midcap markets and do a good job of both promoting the French names and comparing them to other corporates in their global peer group.” Renault, the automaker based in Boulogne-Billancourt, is featured on the firm’s select list of highly recommended stocks for 2013. Over the past few years, free cash flow of €4.7 billion ($6.3 billion) has enabled the company to significantly pay down debt, Joly notes, and rising sales in nondomestic markets have helped offset declines at home. Indeed, last year, for the first time, sales outside Europe accounted for more than half of Renault’s total. The shares were trading at €40.69 in late December, nearly 20 percent below the analysts’ target price of €50.
Paul Sweeney


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