2015 All-America Research Team: Retailing/Department Stores & Specialty Softlines, No. 3: Lorraine Hutchinson
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2015 All-America Research Team: Retailing/Department Stores & Specialty Softlines, No. 3: Lorraine Hutchinson

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Lorraine Hutchinson of Bank of America Merrill Lynch captures third place on this revised list.

< The 2015 All-America Research Team

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Lorraine Hutchinson

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

First-place appearances: 0


Total appearances: 10


Analyst debut: 2008


A runner-up in 2014 on both the Retailing/Broadlines & Department Stores and Retailing/Specialty Stores lineups, Lorraine Hutchinson of Bank of America Merrill Lynch captures third place on this revised list. Department and specialty stores are now combined with the previous Apparel, Footwear & Textiles category. The 40-year-old analyst “balances a viewpoint on the thematic macro backdrop with company-specific drivers,” one fund manager observes. “Her approach is anchored in fundamentals and value that I don’t often hear from other sell-siders.” For her part, Hutchinson is bearish on traditional teen retailers and bullish on the jewelry and discount players. In the latter subsector, one name she particularly likes is apparel and home fashions off-price retailer Ross Stores. A longtime fan of the Dublin, California–based company, she reiterated her positive stance in February, after management announced consensus-beating results for fourth-quarter 2014 — plus a boost to its dividend and a two-year, $1.6 billion share-repurchase initiative. In May, Hutchinson noted the executive team’s cost-cutting and productivity enhancement efforts and again highlighted her upbeat outlook. The stock has more than kept pace with its peers over the past year, advancing 3.1 percent, to close at $49.12 in mid-September, and outdistancing the S&P 500 by 33.7 percentage points. Ross is a high-quality player in its space “with an opportunity to gain market share amid a difficult retail environment,” she concludes.



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