Consumer: Airlines 2008
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Consumer: Airlines 2008

Jamie Baker of ­JPMorgan Securities flies to first place after spending the past three years in third. Baker, 40, “understands how the industry reacts to an extremely stressful environment,” notes one ­money manager.

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Jamie Baker


Jamie Baker ­JPMorgan


SECOND TEAM


Michael Linenberg Merrill Lynch


THIRD TEAM


Garrett Chase Barclays


Jamie Baker of ­JPMorgan Securities flies to first place after spending the past three years in third. Baker, 40, “understands how the industry reacts to an extremely stressful environment,” notes one ­money manager. Soaring fuel costs made the past year ­very stressful indeed, but Baker made some winning calls despite the turbulence. He told investors that shares of Chicago-­based UAL Corp., parent company of United Air Lines, had been unfairly punished, having plummeted from more than $40 per share in July 2007 to $5.07 one year later, and he urged bargain hunters to buy. The stock had soared 124.1 percent, to $11.36, by mid-­September. During the same period the sector was up 8.0 percent. Baker earned a bachelor’s degree in economics at Richmond, Indiana’s Earlham College and worked as a route planner at Northwest Airlines Corp. of Eagan, Minnesota, and Houston-­based Continental Airlines before joining ­JPMorgan in 2002. Michael Linenberg, who drops one notch to second place, “knows how to make ­money for people,” says one enthusiastic backer. The Merrill Lynch analyst recommended Tempe, ­Arizona–based U.S. Airways Group in June, at $2.69, and Atlanta’s Delta Air Lines in July, at $6.80, based on their cost-­cutting initiatives. In mid-­September the stocks were up 192.9 and 19.6 percent, respectively, to $7.88 and $8.13. Dropping one rung to third is Garrett Chase, who ­moved to Barclays Capital after its parent acquired Lehman Brothers last month. He “calls them like he sees them,” in the words of one port­folio manager. In June, on the belief that the industry would benefit from slashing capacity, Chase recommended that investors buy Delta, Northwest and United. By mid-­September the stocks had climbed 18.9, 34.2 and 12.4 percent, ­respectively.


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