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Health Care - Pharmaceuticals/Specialty: 2011 First

In first place for a third year running is Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.’s Aaron (Ronny) Gal,

Aaron (Ronny) Gal  Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.

The buy side says: “He’s smart and really knows how to pick stocks.”

In first place for a third year running is Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.’s Aaron (Ronny) Gal, whose research is “thorough, timely — indispensable,” in the words of one portfolio manager. The 44-year-old analyst upgraded Medicis Pharmaceutical Corp. from neutral to outperform in February, at $31.94, after Israel’s Teva ­Pharmaceutical Industries agreed to wait until 2018 to release a generic version of the Scottsdale, Arizona–based drugmaker’s acne treatment Solodyn, which accounts for nearly 75 percent of Medicis Pharmaceutical’s annual sales; the agreement with Teva was Medicis’ latest triumph over generic drug manufacturers eager to create and distribute their own versions of Solodyn and take market share from Medicis. The stock had surged to $38.90 by the end of August, for a 21.8 percent advance that outdistanced the sector by 17 percentage points.

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