The 2015 All-Europe Research Team: Ireland, No. 2: Robert Eason & team
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The 2015 All-Europe Research Team: Ireland, No. 2: Robert Eason & team

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Goodbody Stockbrokers’ 18-person group in Dublin claims second-place honors for a sixth straight year.

< The 2015 All-Europe Research Team

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Robert Eason & team

Goodbody Stockbrokers

First-place appearances: 1


Total appearances: 13


Team debut: 1998


Goodbody Stockbrokers’ 18-person group in Dublin claims second-place honors for a sixth straight year. Head of research Robert Eason, 43, has captained this crew since last year, increasing its head count by three while expanding coverage by six names, for a total of 50 Irish stocks in nine sectors. The researchers’ network of contacts with company management teams as well as their long experience win investor plaudits. “When analysts have been following their sectors for something like 30 years, they’ve been through all the cycles and they’re able to provide a balanced view and good judgment on where we are on the longer continuum,” one supporter remarks. The Goodbody team is bullish on Dublin’s Ryanair Holdings. Although the budget airline is undergoing a major facelift, it is still infamous for its no-frills service — “low cost, low fares, secondary airports and low regard for the customer experience,” as Eason puts it. But the carrier has recently reinvented itself as a kinder and gentler operation. Legendary boss Michael O’Leary announced that “he was going to change Ryanair’s spots!” an astonished Eason reports. In September 2013 CEO O’Leary instituted a massive overhaul of customer service, adding a full panoply of amenities that includes allocated seating, fewer baggage restrictions, bundled plans to attract business passengers and an improved mobile app. Europe’s largest airline, by passenger numbers, also reengineered its booking system to enhance the ease and convenience of reserving flights online, “boosting loads and yield” in the process, says Eason. The efforts appear to be producing results for Ryanair, he says: Management increased its guidance on earnings twice in late 2014 and “returns are moving to highs not seen for over a decade.” He and his teammates foresee an ongoing positive impact on the shares, as well, assigning them a price target of €11.50, which represents a 10.6 percent premium to their value at the end of last month.



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