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The 2014 All-Europe Research Team: Utilities, No. 1: Alberto Gandolfi & team

< The 2014 All-Europe Research Team
Alberto Gandolfi
& team
First-Place Appearances: 16

Total Appearances: 52

Team Debut: 1991

For the fourth time since 2009, and a second consecutive year, UBS heads this slate. London-based Alberto Gandolfi, 36, has helmed the now four-member crew by himself since the April departure of former co-leader Per Lekander for Norges Bank Investment Management, the Norwegian central bank’s asset management arm. Clients say the reduced head count (down from six a year ago) has only made the analysts work harder. “They generate differentiated ideas, often controversial but always well grounded and well explained,” attests one portfolio manager in Italy. Among the 30 companies they cover, Italian electricity generator Enel is a top pick for this year. The researchers upgraded Enel from neutral to buy in September, at €2.50, citing its improving free cash flow, as well as management’s reduction in capital expenditures and new cost-savings programs. By year end the stock had leaped 26.8 percent, to €2.50, while the sector advanced 7.6 percent. Another preferred name going forward is EDP – Energias de Portugal, which distributes electricity and gas in Spain and Portugal. Gandolfi’s team maintained a buy rating on EDP throughout last year, hailing the company’s capacity growth and rising free cash flow, as well as management’s spending reductions. The stock advanced 28.1 percent in the 12 months through December, to €2.78, against the sector’s 8.1 percent gain. “Alberto has an integrated approach that’s a real value add,” insists another backer.

See also Alberto Gandolfi's profiles in the 2013 All-Europe Research Team and 2012 All-Europe Research Team.

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