Energy: Electric Utilities 2008
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Energy: Electric Utilities 2008

Daniel Ford of Barclays is in the No. 1 spot for a second straight year.


Daniel Ford

Daniel Ford Barclays


Gregory Gordon Citi


Hugh Wynne Sanford C. Bernstein

Clients say “unparalleled industry knowledge” and a “superuseful grasp of the intangibles” keep Daniel Ford in the No. 1 spot for a second straight year. Ford, 41, who ­moved to Barclays Capital after its parent acquired Lehman Brothers last month, wins praise for warning investors that the weakening economic outlook and rising gas prices would negatively affect two electricity-­generating companies, Calpine Corp. of San Jose, California, and Atlanta’s Mirant Corp. He down­graded the companies to sell in July, and their stocks had fallen 20.2 and 19.4 percent, respectively, by mid-­September. During the same period the sector fell 11.5 percent. “His calls are almost always ahead of the curve, and his experience and in-depth knowledge of the companies he covers are invaluable resources,” lauds one ­backer. Repeat second-­teamer Gregory Gordon is “thoughtful and thorough,” says one ­money man­ager. In January the ­Citi analyst recommended nine stocks that looked cheap in a recessionary environment, including Chicago-­based electricity-­transmission com­pany Exelon Corp., at $71.85. In May, after the share price had ­risen 22.8 percent, to $88.22, Gordon downgraded the stock to hold, on valuation. It had fallen 22.5 percent by mid-­September. “Nobody else puts in the work on every situation like he does,” cheers one enthusiast. Hugh Wynne of Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. holds steady in third place, thanks in part to his “very detailed, thorough analysis,” according to one buy-­sider. In May 2007, Wynne recommended First­Energy Corp., citing strong growth prospects. Shares of the Akron, ­Ohio–based electricity distributor had outpaced the sector by 15.9 percentage points through mid-­September.

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