Filippo Lo Franco & team J.P. Morgan
second teamNicholas Bertolotti & team Credit Suisse
third teamColin Tennant & team Nomura
Investors say extremely accurate predictions and unique viewpoints that are backed by solid research help the J.P. Morgan squad under Filippo Lo Franco catapult from runner-up to first place. In May the five-member team upgraded JCDecaux from neutral to overweight, at 10.91, on the French outdoor advertising companys increasing market share. The stock had surged to 17.04 by late December, a 56.2 percent gain that beat the sector by 38.1 percentage points. Lo Franco, 40, earned a doctorate in business administration at Universita Commerciale Luigi Bocconi, Milan, in 1995 and joined J.P. Morgan in 2006 from Exane BNP Paribas, where he worked as a media analyst.
Climbing one rung to second place is the four-strong Credit Suisse crew commanded by Nicholas Bertolotti. The researchers, highly regarded by clients for offering great topical industry insights and timely recommendations, tapped WPP Group as its top pick in October 2008, at 335p, and highlighted the recommendation in January 2009, citing the Dublin-based ad agencys low price-to-earnings ratio, among other factors. The stock had skyrocketed 81.9 percent, to 609.50p, by year-end 2009.
Nomuras six-member team led by Colin Tennant, championed by one buy-side backer for offering reliably and consistently strong research, advances from runner-up to third. The analysts winning recommendations of the past year include a May upgrade to buy on Sky Deutschland (formerly Premiere), at 1.77, on the belief that German pay-TV broadcasters expansion of high-definition offerings would boost its subscriber base. The stock rose 27.7 percent, to 2.26, through December.
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