A.J. Noronha of Desai Capital presented his in-depth investment thesis on Comerica (US: CMA) at Best Ideas 2021.

Thesis summary:

Comerica provides a compelling opportunity, with strong downside protection. The business has a strong, stable foundation and is poised to capitalize as the global economy returns to normalcy. Comerica trades at an attractive discount to intrinsic value.

The business successfully weathered the rough start to 2020 and managed to maintain profitability in a low interest rate environment.

Several factors may drive convergence of Comerica’s share price and intrinsic value, including a return to economic normalcy, with the corresponding increase in consumer and business confidence boosting spending. Government stimulus should benefit Comerica’s key business areas.

Comerica is a profitable, well-established company (170+ years old) with diversified business lines. A.J. views the shares as an opportunity where, “heads we win, tails we don’t lose much.”

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About the instructor:

A.J. Noronha, CFA has over ten years of investment management experience, and has worked closely with Mr. Desai since Desai Capital Management’s inception in 2013 with all aspects of the fund, with his primary responsibilities being equity research, due diligence, and developing investment theses for DCM’s portfolio. He has been ranked as highly as #1 (Value), #6 (Long), and #9 (both Overall and North America) in SumZero’s independent analyst rankings, and his independent research on Dow Chemical was selected as one of their top ideas of 2015.. He served as an instructor for MOI Global’s Best Ideas 2018 and Wide Moat Summit 2018, and was an invited participant (non finalist) in the 2017-2018 Sohn Conference Foundation Idea Contests, 2017 SumZero/Van Biema Value Partners Idea Challenge, and 2019 SumZero Best Short Ideas Challenge. Prior to DCM, Mr. Noronha gained investment experience working for a mid-market PE/VC fund, and also co-founded and served in a C-level role for a biomedical engineering startup. He earned a degree in Finance, magna cum laude, from the University of Notre Dame, where he was selected to be a member of the prestigious Applied Investment Management honors finance course where students manage a portion of the University endowment under the guidance of the Chief Investment Officer, and also holds a JD with Dean’s List honors & a concentration in business enterprise (selected coursework taken through the Kellogg School of Management) from Northwestern University. He is a proud CFA Charterholder, is an active Candidate Member of the CFA Society of Chicago & serves on its Professional Development Advisory Group Board, and is a member of Irish Entrepreneurs & Harvard Alumni Entrepreneurs.

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