This content is from: Research
Basic Materials: Paper & Packaging - 2009
One portfolio manager declares that BofA Merrill’s George Staphos, who repeats in first place, “always knows what’s going on in the industry and has the best insights.
George Staphos BofA Merrill Lynch
second team Claudia Hueston J.P. Morgan
third team Mark Wilde Deutsche
One portfolio manager declares that BofA Merrill’s George Staphos, who repeats in first place, “always knows what’s going on in the industry and has the best insights.” In January the 44-year-old analyst urged clients to buy shares of Temple-Inland, at $4.75, on the Austin, Texas–based containerboard manufacturer’s strong growth prospects; he was also impressed by the company’s cost-cutting initiatives. By late August, Temple-Inland’s stock had bolted to $16.91, a phenomenal 256 percent advance that made the sector’s 52.6 percent gain pale in comparison.
In second place for a second straight year is J.P. Morgan’s Claudia Hueston, hailed by one client for providing research that is “remarkably thorough, remarkably detailed, yet easy to understand.” Hueston reiterated her overweight rating of Rock-Tenn Co. in November, at $30.95, telling investors the Norcross, Georgia–based packaging company would benefit from declining costs, rising bleached-board prices and significant exposure to food, beverage and consumer staples markets. The stock had surged 65.7 percent, to $51.29, by August 31.
Unranked since 2006, Mark Wilde of Deutsche Bank Securities takes third. Wilde upgraded International Paper to buy in April, at $7.22, owing to strong free cash flow at the paperboard manufacturer, which is headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee. The following month, after the stock had shot up 93.9 percent, to $14, Wilde downgraded it to neutral, on valuation. But the downgrade was premature; the shares continued to advance, gaining 17.8 percent by mid-July, so the analyst upgraded it to buy. International Paper’s stock rose a further 39.2 percent, to $22.95, through August.
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