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Technology: Software

“Anything anyone might possibly want to know about any of her stocks, she’s got it covered,” says one client of Heather Bellini, in first for a second straight year.

Heather Bellini

First Team

Heather Bellini

UBS

Second Team

Charles Di Bona, Sanford C. Bernstein

Third Team

Adam Holt, JPMorgan

Runners-Up

John DiFucci, Bear Stearns; Brent Thill, Citi


“Anything anyone might possibly want to know about any of her stocks, she’s got it covered,” says one client of Heather Bellini, in first for a second straight year. The UBS analyst is also praised for her contrarian buy on security-software developer McAfee of Santa Clara, California. Bellini upgraded the shares from neutral in October 2006, following the departure of the company’s CEO. “From a fundamental perspective, I thought people were being too pessimistic about top-line growth and underestimating operating-margin potential,” explains Bellini, 37. Through mid-September 2007 the stock rose 26.6 percent, compared with the sector’s 5.0 percent gain. Up one spot to second, Charles Di Bona of Sanford C. Bernstein takes a “thoughtful and deeply analytical approach,” says one money manager, especially with regard to longtime favorite Microsoft Corp. In January, Di Bona published an 83-page report on the Redmond, Washington–based company’s push toward a hybrid platform that combines software with online services. He followed up in March with a report that took an in-depth look at Microsoft’s accounting changes. “All of his reports are worth reading,” marvels one investor. JPMorgan Securities’ Adam Holt debuts in third. The San Francisco–based analyst “is a savvy stock picker,” says one investor, citing Holt’s mid-January recommendation to buy Hyperion Solutions Corp., at $33.64, based in part on its solid earnings. In March, Oracle Corp. announced it would pay $52.00 per share to acquire the Santa Clara, California–based financial-management-software developer, resulting in a 54.6 percent premium in just six weeks.

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