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Industries: Airlines - First

Anirudha Dutta CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets The buy side says: “Anirudha is the one we go to.” Anand Kumar BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research The buy side says: “Anand is a crucial resource.”

Anirudha Dutta of CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets and Anand Kumar of BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research share the top spot. Dutta, who also comes in second in Small- & Midcapitalization Stocks, upgraded Jet Airways (India) from underperform to buy in January 2010, at 479.05 rupees, on its pricing power and passenger growth. In August 2010, after the Mumbai-­based carrier’s stock had flown 62.7 percent, to Rs779.40, he reduced it to outperform, primarily on valuation. The downgrade was too conservative, however: The stock tumbled 42.6 percent, to Rs447.55, through May. During the same period the broad market slipped 1.4 percent. “He held on too long, but it had a good run,” insists one loyalist. Dutta, 48, earned a postgraduate diploma in business management at Jamshedpur’s XLRI School of Business and Human Resources in 1991; he joined CLSA in 2003 after a brief stint as head of M&A and investor relations at Tata Steel.

Kumar, who earned an MBA from ­Calcutta’s Indian Institute of Management in 2007, initiated coverage on Gurgaon-­based SpiceJet in December 2009 with a buy, at Rs55.10, citing its strong customer growth and low-cost operations. The stock soared to Rs92.30 in November before being dragged down by rising fuel costs; it closed May at Rs40.70, but the 31-year-old analyst remains bullish. Kumar “takes the long view,” explains one backer.

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