Technology: IT Hardware
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Technology: IT Hardware

A.M. (Toni) Sacconaghi, who retains the crown for a seventh straight year, writes “the most thoughtful and analytical pieces in the sector, and his topics are always ­what’s most on the minds of investors,” avers one buy-side ­backer.

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A.M. (Toni) Sacconaghi


A.M. (Toni) Sacconaghi Sanford C. Bernstein


SECOND TEAM


Benjamin Reitzes Barclays


THIRD TEAM


Richard Gardner Citi


A.M. (Toni) Sacconaghi, who retains the crown for a seventh straight year, writes “the most thoughtful and analytical pieces in the sector, and his topics are always ­what’s most on the minds of investors,” avers one buy-side ­backer. In January the 43-year-old Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. analyst alerted clients to what he called “a discernible weakening of corporate information-­technology spending” and suggested they stick with defensive names, recommending computer systems developer IBM Corp. of Armonk, New York, whose shares were up 23.2 percent by mid-­September, and Lexington, ­Kentucky–based printer manufacturer Lexmark International, up 16.4 percent. The sector dipped 1.2 percent ­over the same period. In second place for a third year in a row is Benjamin Reitzes, who ­moved from UBS to Lehman ­Brothers in March, then to Barclays Capital after its parent acquired Lehman last month. Investors say Reitzes is a “great stock-picker” who “isolates the drivers for each of his names and does not get lost in a sea of details that ­don’t matter.” In ­July the analyst told clients to buy EMC Corp., an information-­storage systems developer head­quartered in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, following an unexpectedly strong second-­quarter earnings report. The stock had surged 13.2 percent by mid-­September. Richard Gardner of ­Citi repeats at No. 3. The San ­Francisco–based analyst is “not afraid of taking a contrarian view,” according to one investor. Case in point: Gardner reiterated his buy recommendation on Cupertino, ­California–based computer maker Apple in February, even though the stock had plunged 34.6 percent, to $129.45, since the start of the year, amid concerns about the health of CEO Steven Jobs. In mid-­September, Apple shares were back to $148.94, for a gain of 15.1 percent.


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