Consumer – Autos & Auto Parts : First
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Consumer – Autos & Auto Parts : First


Max Warburton

& team

Sanford C. Bernstein

"No one knows the auto industry like Max."

In first place for a third straight year is the Sanford C. Bernstein squad under Max Warburton, 38. Over the past year the team added one associate, bringing its membership total to four, and Warburton moved from London to Singapore to "get closer to Asian automobile markets and to prepare to launch coverage on Asian automakers," which will happen this year, he says. "Max's detailed analysis of how the German automakers serve the growing Chinese market is without compare," affirms one fund manager in London, singling out a March report that delved into Chinese auto consumption by province, city and brand. That same month, Warburton and crew downgraded Germany's Daimler from outperform to market perform, at €45.89, on earnings declines and weak volume growth — particularly in its Mercedes-Benz brand. Shares of the automaker dropped below €35 in June before rallying to end the year down 10 percent, at €41.32; during the same period the sector was flat. The stock is still rated market perform, but the analysts are cautiously optimistic for the long term, noting that Chinese auto demand "looks to be accelerating again," says Warburton. — Ben Mattlin

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