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The Best Telecom Analysts

5:00 PM -- The sell-side stock analyst was once one of the sexiest jobs on Wall Street. And during the telecom bubble era, no analysts were more prolific than those who covered telecom services. These days, the job isn't as glorious as it used to be, but the sell-side analyst still carries a good amount of clout. Yesterday, The Wall Street Journal released a report on who the top-ranked analysts were on Wall Street in 2007.

Unlike the more authoritative Institutional Investor rankings, which bases its criteria on a survey of buy-side analysts, the Journal's rankings are entirely quantitative-based and only take into account the performance of the analyst's stock picks throughout the year. Here're the top three in telecom services and telecom equipment:

Fixed Line Telecommunications
Top-ranked Hasan earned his position by warning investors of Level 3 Communications Inc. (NYSE: LVLT) and Vonage Holdings Corp. (NYSE: VG). It doesn't take a Wall Street analyst to see now that those stocks did not work out so well in 2007 and that Hasan made the right call. In 2008, Hasan is bullish on tw telecom inc. (Nasdaq: TWTC), which is down nearly ten percent on the year so far.

Telecommunications Equipment
Church gained the top spot mostly thanks to his call on Ceragon Networks Ltd. (Nasdaq: CRNT). Ceragon posted a 300 percent gain through October 2007. Investors apparently tend to like things like that. In 2008, Church likes Ceragon again, although the stock is flat so far this year.

— Raymond McConville, Reporter, Light Reading

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