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Industry Sectors: Building & Construction

Holding steady at No. 1 is the Exane BNP Paribas trio now guided by Arnaud Pinatel, 44, and new co-­leader Nicolas Godet, 31. Praised for “opportunistic market timing,” as one client asserts, the analysts astutely upgraded Heidelberg­Cement from neutral to outperform in July, as a bargain at €25.04.

Nicolas Godet, Arnaud Pinatel & team Exane BNP Paribas

second teamMichael Betts J.P. Morgan

third teamLuis Prieto & team BofA Merrill Lynch

Holding steady at No. 1 is the Exane BNP Paribas trio now guided by Arnaud Pinatel, 44, and new co-­leader Nicolas Godet, 31. Praised for “opportunistic market timing,” as one client asserts, the analysts astutely upgraded Heidelberg­Cement from neutral to outperform in July, as a bargain at €25.04. Through December shares of the German building-­materials producer vaulted 92.6 percent, to €48.23, and outpaced the sector by 34.6 percentage points.

Clients also applaud the researchers’ continuous coverage of Italian cement supplier Buzzi Unicem. They upgraded the stock from neutral to outperform in April, at a bargain-­priced €9.60. After the shares had surged to €12.57 by mid-­September, the group downgraded them back to neutral, again on valuation — then in November downgraded them further, to underperform. The stock ended the year at €11.28, falling 10.3 percent and trailing the sector by 23.7 points since the September downgrade. Godet joined the firm in 2002 after earning an MBA the year before from the École Supérieure des Sciences Économiques et Commerciales, or ESSEC, in Paris.

Solo analyst Michael Betts jumps from runner-­up to second place. The J.P. Morgan researcher upgraded Holcim from neutral to overweight in April, at Sf45.97, on the Swiss cement supplier’s strong earnings prospects. By December 31 the shares had bolted 75.1 percent, to Sf80.50, and topped the sector by 20.6 points. “His stock selections are astoundingly helpful,” cheers one ­money man­ager.

Unranked last year, BofA’s quartet conducted by Luis Prieto takes third place. Supporters appreciate the team’s valuation-­driven upgrade from neutral to buy on U.K. homebuilder Persimmon in July, at 350p. The stock had surged 34.1 percent, to 469.50p, by late ­December.

To go back to the index page, click on the Best European Analysts of the Year: 2010 All-Europe Research Team.

To read the article, click on: Reversal of Fortunes: The 2010 All-Europe Research Team.

Click here to access the complete rankings of the 2010 All-Europe Research Team.

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