Western European Countries – Italy: First
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Western European Countries – Italy: First

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Matteo Ghilotti,

Stefano Lustig

& team

Equita S.I.M.

"They stand head and shoulders above any other Italian broker."

Climbing back to the top after a year in second place is Equita S.I.M.'s Milan-based crew co-directed by Matteo Ghilotti, 48, and Stefano Lustig, 47. The 14 analysts follow 150 Italian companies. "I count on them for their timely research, strong local content and broad reach across small-cap and midcap Italian names, which can yield compelling returns and are often overlooked — until they've had a huge rally and the herd arrives," explains one advocate. Among the team's top picks for the year is Pontedera-based Piaggio & C., one of the world's leading makers of motorcycles and scooters. The company already accounts for more than one quarter of European scooter sales, which makes it well positioned for a regional economic recovery, but in the past few years has been aggressively expanding into new markets — India and Vietnam in particular, Lustig explains. Moreover, the shares are attractively valued, with a trailing 12-month price-earnings ratio of just 14, he adds. The stock was trading at €2.03 in late December, and the analysts believe it will climb to €2.40. — Paul Sweeney


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