Western European Countries – Ireland: First
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Western European Countries – Ireland: First

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Barry Dixon

& team

Davy

"Since the equity market in Ireland has slowed, they've been helping us understand the macro side and the credit markets."

It's five straight years at No. 1 for Barry Dixon's 21-member team at Davy. Amid a rocky Irish economy, the Dubliners have been expanding their coverage beyond the nation's borders — mostly within Europe — to follow 110 companies, up from 95 a year ago. "Irish corporates have become much more international," observes Dixon, 45. "They now compare themselves to their international peers, and they expect us to do likewise." Packaging giant Smurfit Kappa Group, one of the team's top picks for 2013, is well positioned to benefit from "a positive pricing cycle," which should bolster earnings, he explains. In addition, the Dublin-based company has a sturdy market position in Latin America and strong free cash flow, which could be used for higher dividend payments, Dixon notes. Another favorite: Dublin's DCC, a conglomerate with operations in energy, food and beverages, and health care, among other industries. With a strong balance sheet, low valuation relative to its peers' and rising earnings from its liquefied-petroleum-gas distribution units, DCC is poised to outperform, the team believes. — Paul Sweeney


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