The 2015 All-Europe Research Team: Food Producers, No. 3: Alan Erskine & team
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The 2015 All-Europe Research Team: Food Producers, No. 3: Alan Erskine & team

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After three years at runner-up, UBS’s London-headquartered team under the direction of Alan Erskine reclaims the No. 3 position on this lineup.

< The 2015 All-Europe Research Team

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Alan Erskine & team

UBS

First-Place Appearances: 2


Total Appearances: 42


Team Debut: 1986


After three years at runner-up, UBS’s London-headquartered team under the direction of Alan Erskine reclaims the No. 3 position on this lineup. The group is cautious on the prospects for Europe’s food producers. Erskine, 52, points to a host of problems the names will face — including slowing growth in emerging markets and a period of deflation — in explaining the researchers’ pessimism. “Valuations are at or close to historical highs despite, in my view, the sector entering a period of structurally slower top-line growth,” he explains. In September 2013, UBS’s squad issued a sell recommendation on U.K.-based multinational agribusiness player Tate & Lyle, which specializes in manufacturing sugar-based food ingredients. The company’s valuation didn’t reflect the risk that prices of sucralose, an artificial sweetener, would continue to fall as generic competitors’ products improved, the analysts reasoned. Tate & Lyle’s shares fell 21.3 percent, to 602.06p, through late September 2014, trailing the sector by 31.9 percentage points and prompting them to upgrade the stock to neutral, on valuation. At the end of January, it was trading at 678p, up 12.6 percent and ahead of its peers by 5.3 percentage points.



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