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Consumer – Retailing/Speciality Stores: 2012 First

It’s seven straight years at No. 1 for 38-year-old Brian Tunick. The J.P. Morgan researcher acknowledges that these are difficult times for specialty retailers:

Brian Tunick
Brian Tunick
J.P. Morgan
“It’s a challenging area to cover, but he makes it look easy.”

It’s seven straight years at No. 1 for 38-year-old Brian Tunick. The J.P. Morgan researcher acknowledges that these are difficult times for specialty retailers: “Consumer spending isn’t likely to accelerate much from current levels,” he explains, “and with increased competition from both brick-and-mortar and e-commerce players, market-share gains won’t be easy to come by.” But they won’t be impossible, either. Tunick added coverage of Michael Kors Holdings in late January with a buy rating, at $29.50, dubbing the Hong Kong–based concern “one of the best growth stories in retail.” The stock rocketed 82.9 percent, to $53.95, through August. Also in January the analyst highlighted his long-standing overweight on Limited Brands, at $37.58, telling investors that the Columbus, Ohio–based company was moving closer to signing leases for the first international locations of its Victoria’s Secret brand stores. (It had confined its overseas operations to duty-free shops at select airports.) In August the company opened a flagship store in London, and by the end of that month, the stock had zipped to $48.60, for a gain of 29.3 percent that outpaced the sector by 10.6 percentage points. “In a sector given to extremes, Brian’s detailed models and industry experience help investors keep things in perspective,” notes one money manager.


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