Tipster passes torch

An equity analyst at JP Morgan has transferred research coverage of US-listed shipping stocks to long-time colleague Nishant Mani.
Combe is based in London but made frequent visits to New York.

Combe is based in London but made frequent visits to New York.

Market sources say Christopher Combe will continue to follow European transportation stocks, a category that includes the likes of AP Moller-Maersk, after passing the reins.

Mani, who appears to be based in Manhattan, assumed coverage of Costamare, GasLog, Navios Maritime Holdings, Navios Maritime Partners, Navios Maritime Acquisition, Teekay Tankers and Teekay Offshore Partners.

Wall Street sources tell TradeWinds that Combe will continue to confer with Mani during the transition and don’t expect any drastic ratings changes to materialise in the near-term.

Combe re-initiated research coverage of US-listed shipping stocks on behalf of JP Morgan in late 2011, which marked the end of a brief hiatus that followed the departure of long-time incumbent Jonathan Chappell and colleague Darrin Hicks, who left to join Evercore Partners.

Today, several of Combe’s peers say they were not surprised when the revelation first came to light late last week since it seemed to them that the forecaster was stretched too thin, a thesis they based on the frequency of his research notes and size of his coverage universe.

One rival claims he and his shipping team plan to actively monitor the frequency, depth and accuracy of Mani’s maritime tips in the coming months under a broader effort to gauge JP Morgan’s appetite for deals and overall commitment to the space.

While there has been a sharp spike in capital market activity over the past several months the same source pointed out that competition remains fierce and believes the big-ticket deals that Wall Street heavyweights like JP Morgan prefer to target are still few and far between.

JP Morgan has collected a number of tombstones in Oslo and New York, however, since the start of 2014. At last check the list of deals included the initial public offerings of both Avance Gas and Dorian LPG, whose debut US listing is also backed by UBS.

UBS initiated coverage of the tanker and gas-carrier segments earlier this month. Joshua Katzeff stamped shares of Scorpio Tankers, DHT Holdings, StealthGas and Tsakos Energy Navigation with “buy” ratings while Navios Maritime Acquisition and Teekay Tankers were graded “hold”.

Scorpio Tankers
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