2015 All-America Research Team: Software, No. 2: Mark Moerdler
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2015 All-America Research Team: Software, No. 2: Mark Moerdler

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Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.’s Mark Moerdler, a runner-up in his first two appearances on this roster, bounds to second place.

< The 2015 All-America Research Team

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Mark Moerdler

Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.

First-place appearances: 0


Total appearances: 3


Analyst debut: 2013


Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.’s Mark Moerdler, a runner-up in his first two appearances on this roster, bounds to second place. “Mark does a great deal of in-depth work on the software industry, and the key value add that he brings is a long-term time horizon with a focus on secular trends,” one portfolio manager attests. “His recommendations on Adobe Systems and Microsoft [Corp.] have been very helpful.” Tracking 12 software companies, the 55-year-old analyst sees opportunities for much of the group from industry-level changes. “The software sector is under multiple technology and business-model transformations, the most impactful of which is the cloud,” he explains. “We expect the disruptions to continue.” Looking ahead to 2016, he anticipates strong upside for San Jose, California–based diversified application software developer Adobe, which has been one of his favorite names since May 2012. At that time, he reasoned, the Street was underestimating the potential of Adobe’s subscription model and insufficiently valuing its digital marketing business. He has reiterated his outperform position repeatedly since. For example, in June he touted the stock following very strong second-quarter earnings results and better-than-expected margin improvement; and the following month the analyst raised his price objective from $93 to $103, citing in part the value of the company’s new multimedia marketplace, Adobe Stock. By mid-September the shares had rocketed 142.2 percent since the researcher turned bullish, climbing to $81.25 and beating its peers by 103.7 percentage points. For the trailing 12-month period, it advanced 19.6 percent, against the sector’s 2.2 percent drop. Moerdler, 55, holds several advanced diplomas from New York’s Columbia University — a BA, MSc and Ph.D. in computer science, as well as a master’s in philosophy — and co-founded a records management software company before pursuing a career in research. After serving as president of MDY Advanced Technologies until its sale to New York–based enterprise software giant CA (now CA Technologies), Moerdler remained at CA for several years, managing the integration of MDY, developing technical sales capabilities and serving as a technology strategist. He began working as a sell-side equity analyst in July 2010, when he joined Bernstein. Two years later buy-siders named him a Rising Star of Wall Street Research.



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