Imran Khan JPMorgan
Jeffrey Lindsay Sanford C. Bernstein
Douglas Anmuth Barclays ; Justin Post Merrill Lynch ; Benjamin Schachter UBS
Jumping from third place, Mark Mahaney of Citi claims the top spot for the first time. The 42-year-old analyst makes calls he doesnt just ride out his ratings, observes one portfolio manager. One call Mahaney made that impressed investors was a downgrade of travel services provider Priceline.com in May, at $128.23, because he thought the rising cost of air travel would spur a slowdown in consumer demand. He was right. By mid-September the Norwalk, Connecticutbased companys share price had plunged to $86.24, a loss of 32.7 percent. During the same period the sector fell 27.6 percent. Mahaney earned an MBA from the University of Pennsylvanias Wharton School in 1996 and worked at Morgan Stanley and Galleon Group, a New Yorkbased hedge fund, before joining Citi in 2005. Detailed and insightful analysis, in the words of one buy-side enthusiast, help Imran Khan hold second place for a fourth consecutive year. The JPMorgan Securities analyst reiterated his overweight rating on Dice Holdings in February, telling investors that rising unemployment would boost traffic at the New Yorkbased companys job recruitment Web site. In mid-September the stock was ahead of the sector by 11.6 percentage points. Newcomer Jeffrey Lindsay of Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. is No. 3. Lindsay is not afraid to go against the consensus, according to one investor. He proved it when he issued a buy recommendation in May on Amazon.com, at $74.53, reasoning that the market was taking an unnecessarily negative view of the Seattle-based online retailers long-term growth prospects. By mid-September, Amazons shares had gained 5.1 percent, to $78.30.