Per Lekander & team UBS
second teamSimon Flowers, Eric Lopez & team BofA Merrill Lynch
third teamPeter Atherton & team Citi
Repeating at No. 1, the UBS foursome directed by London- and Paris-based Per Lekander, 47, earns high marks for consistent quality across the team, in the words of one investor. In January 2009 the analysts upgraded International Power from sell to buy as a bargain at 258.25p. Through December the British electricity suppliers stock jolted to 309.10p, a 19.7 percent rise that led the sector by 10.8 percentage points. In April, when shares of Spains Enagás were trading at 10.35, the team said the natural-gas importer and wholesaler was oversold, in part because of unjustified fears about the sustainability of its capital expenditures. Right again. Through December the shares billowed to 15.43. In second place for a second straight year is the seven-strong BofA squad captained by Simon Flowers and new co-leader Eric Lopez. The team, credited by one client with providing outstanding bottom-up analyses and stock selections, upgraded Frances Veolia Environnement from neutral to buy on a price dip in March, at 15.63, defending the water and waste-management provider against market assumptions that it was in danger of running out of capital. The stock had gushed 47.9 percent, to 23.12, by December 31. Citis Peter Atherton and his crew of six rise from runner-up to third. Earnings pressure prompted the team to downgrade Électricité de France to underperform in January 2009; by late December the stock trailed the sector by 18.9 points. The Citi researchers were among the few [analysts] to point out the underperformers, explains one buy-side backer.
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