Sandeep Deshpande & team J.P. Morgan
second teamNicolas Gaudois & team UBS
third teamJerome Ramel & team Exane BNP Paribas
After a year in second place, the J.P. Morgan duo directed by Sandeep Deshpande returns to the top spot. Deshpande, 39, demonstrated profound discipline when it came to following the fundamentals, and we were rewarded for trusting him, says one appreciative buy-sider. The analysts upgraded Dutch chip-equipment maker ASML Holding to buy in December 2008, telling clients that demand for silicon etching systems had hit bottom. The stock, then at 11.79, had vaulted 103.6 percent, to 24, by year-end 2009, outpacing the sector by 35.9 percentage points. Down a notch to No. 2 is the two-member UBS team led by Nicolas Gaudois, who is a great judge of both weakness and strength, according to one money manager. The researchers recommended U.K.-based processor maker ARM Holdings in January 2009, at 89.50p, on the belief that the weakening pound would entice foreign buyers and drive up sales. The stock skyrocketed 98.3 percent, to 177.50p, through December. Jerome Ramel guides the Paris-based Exane BNP Paribas team of two to a third-place debut, thanks in part to providing solid, insightful coverage of some off-the-beaten-track names, in the words of one investor. One of those names, German light-emitting diode, or LED, production-equipment maker Aixtron, was trading at 5.13 when the analysts recommended it in April, on valuation. At the end of December, the shares were trading at 23.50 a stunning 358.1 percent gain.
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