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Industry – Consumer: Second

Aaron Fischer & team
CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets

The 22-member CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets group helmed by Aaron Fischer lands in second place for a third consecutive year. The analysts cover 129 stocks, up from 105 at this time last year, and expect to add more names in the coming months. Working out of offices in Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Thailand, they continue to recommend high-end-product manufacturers and retailers. “Luxury goods greatly benefit from much less competition than other consumer categories,” says Fischer, who also leads a runner-up team in Gaming & Lodging. “Also, these companies are generating significant amounts of free cash flow that can be returned to shareholders in the form of much higher dividends.” CLSA served as a global coordinator for the June 2011 initial public offering of Italian leather goods manufacturer Prada, at HK$39.50, and the researchers encouraged investors to participate. In August of that year, they formally launched coverage with a buy recommendation, at HK$44.75, and have pounded the table repeatedly since. By late April 2013 the stock had climbed to HK$69.95, gaining 32.9 percent in the past 12 months alone, and the analysts believe it will rise to HK$91.80. “The CLSA team has gone through in-depth analysis on changes in Asian consumer trends, which I value highly for the creative investment ideas,” notes one buy-sider. — Katie Gilbert

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