Basic Materials: Metals & Mining
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Basic Materials: Metals & Mining

Michael Gambardella, who rises one notch to capture his first No. 1 finish since 2004, “has been the best money­maker on the Street — bar none — ­over the past year,” declares one investor.

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Michael Gambardella


Michael Gambardella JPMorgan


SECOND TEAM


Peter Ward Barclays


THIRD TEAM


John Hill ­ Citi


Michael Gambardella, who rises one notch to capture his first No. 1 finish since 2004, “has been the best money­maker on the Street — bar none — ­over the past year,” declares one investor. The ­JPMorgan Securities analyst ­earned that accolade with calls such as his recommendation of Cleveland-­Cliffs, one of the world’s biggest producers of iron ore pellets. Gambardella, 51, predicted that soaring demand for iron ore would result in windfall profits for the Ohio-­based com­pany, and he urged investors to buy in December, at a split-­adjusted price of $44.62. By mid-September the stock price had skyrocketed to $81.59, for a gain of 82.9 percent; during the same period the sector fell 20.1 percent. Peter Ward, who ­moved to Barclays Capital after its parent acquired Lehman Brothers last month, rises from third place to second. “His view on coal stocks has been particularly good,” notes one client. In August 2007, Ward told investors to buy Alpha Natural Resources, at $17.50, citing booming profits for the Abingdon, ­Virginia–based coal producer. In July, after the share price had zoomed to $104.93, Cleveland-­Cliffs announced it would buy ANR in a cash-and-stock deal worth $128.12 a share. One fund manager insists that “no one knows mine geology better than John Hill,” the Citi analyst who advances from ­runner-up to third. In September 2007, Hill upgraded Pittsburgh-­based United States Steel Corp. to buy, calling it a bargain at $93.13. In April, after the share price had surged to $154.81, Hill downgraded the stock to hold, on valuation. By mid-September it had slipped to $108.73.


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