Research Department

Hilliard Lyons’ Research efforts take a long-term investment approach and tend to focus on companies that provide niche products or services not easily duplicated.
Our goal is to recommend quality companies at compelling prices.
We search for companies exhibiting a combination of attributes, which may include high returns on assets and equity, reliable earnings that are growing, and manageable debt, and we prefer they generate excess cash.

David B. Burks, Senior Vice President
Senior Analyst for Utility and Telecommunications Industries
David has covered the Electric Utilities and Telecommunications industries since 1991 and has been recognized nationally ten times for his stock recommendations. In 2017 he placed first nationally for his stock picks in the Multi-Utilities category in the Thomson Reuters Analyst Awards (formerly StarMine awards), and in 2016 he was named the number one Electric Utilities stock picker. He has been designated a top stock picker in the Electric Utilities category five times by Thomson Reuters Analyst Awards. In addition, he has been designated a “Best on the Street” analyst by The Wall Street Journal four times: three times for Electric Utilities and once for Telecommunications. He has appeared numerous times on CNBC. David joined the Hilliard Lyons Research Department in 1983 and began his career as an analyst in 1985. A Senior Vice President, David holds an MBA and a B.S. in Commerce from the University of Louisville.

Spencer E. Joyce, CFA®, Vice President 
Analyst for Industrials, Natural Gas and Water Utilities
Spencer joined Hilliard Lyons in 2009, and has covered the Water Utility and Natural Gas Utility industries since 2012. More recently he has expanded his focus to include coverage of the Industrials sector. By Thomson Reuters (formerly StarMine awards), he was named the #1 Gas Utility stock picker in both 2016 and 2015; this followed #1 Water Utility stock picker honors in both 2014 and 2013. Overall, Spencer has been named in the Thomson Reuters awards a collective 10 times (for either stock picks or earnings estimate accuracy). He has appeared on CNBC multiple times, and is often quoted in various print media outlets. Prior to earning the Chartered Financial Analyst designation, Spencer graduated Cum Laude from the University of Kentucky with a B.B.A. in Finance. He holds Series 7, 66, 86, and 87 licenses.

Kurt A. Kemper, CFA® 
Analyst for Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Industries
Kurt conducts equity research on the Healthcare sector for Hilliard Lyons. Before joining Hilliard Lyons in 2014, Kurt was an investment analyst at Kentucky Retirement Systems, where he assisted in research and money manager selection. Prior to KRS, Kurt was a financial analyst with the Office of Financial Management for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, where he helped manage internal money market and short duration bond funds. Kurt graduated magna cum laude from Bellarmine University with a B.A. in both Economics and Finance, and has earned the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.

Carol L. Kemple, Vice President
Senior Analyst for Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)
Carol joined the Research Department in 2005 as an Associate Analyst. Her prior experience included time as a Trading Associate in Listed Securities at Hilliard Lyons. Carol received her MBA from Indiana University Southeast and her B.S. in Agricultural Economics with a minor in Food and Agribusiness Management from Purdue University. A Vice President and Senior Analyst, she currently follows the REIT Industry. She has been recognized numerous times for her REIT analysis, including number 1 rankings from both The Wall Street Journal’s "Best on the Street" survey and StarMine.

John M. Roberts, Senior Vice President
Director of Research and Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) Senior Analyst
John has previously been ranked as the top REIT analyst by The Wall Street Journal, a top REIT stock picker by StarMine, and has been rated as a top 10 overall equity analyst by StarMine twice (2004 and 2014). Before joining Hilliard Lyons in 1997, John served as Vice President, Director of Research, and Chief Financial Officer at First Honolulu Securities. He has also been a Mergers and Acquisitions Analyst at Mills Dowling, a Senior Securities Analyst at 13D Research, and a Senior Securities Analyst in the REIT group at Stifel Nicolaus. He holds an MBA in Finance and Operations Management from Syracuse University and a B.S. in Business Economics from Fordham University.  

Andrew W. Stapp, Vice President
Analyst for Banking and Business Development Companies 
Andy Stapp conducts equity research on banks for Hilliard Lyons. He previously served in an equity research capacity at Cohen & Company, B. Riley & Co., BGB Securities, and Merion Capital. Before that, he was involved in investment banking, wherein he successfully consummated approximately 100 M&A transactions, primarily in the community bank space. Andy has been a frequent speaker and author on valuation and other issues involving the banking sector and has been quoted in numerous publications including American Banker, ABA Banking Journal, Barron’s, SNL Financial, and The Wall Street Transcript. He was named a top 5 analyst in the banking sector in 2008 and 2010 by Forbes Magazine and in 2011 by StarMine. Andy received his MBA in Finance from The University of Tennessee, where he was elected to Beta Gamma Sigma in recognition of his academic achievements.

Jeffrey S. Thomison, CFA®, Senior Vice President
Senior Analyst for Consumer Staples and Entertainment & Leisure Industries
Jeff is a four-time winner in The Wall Street Journal’s annual survey of top-ranking equity analysts. In 2012 and 2006, he earned the Journal’s "Best on the Street" designation based on the performance of his stock recommendations in the Leisure Goods and Services category, and in 2001 for his selections in the Recreational Products and Services category. In 1997, he was named an "All-Star Analyst" by the Journal for his recommendations in the Entertainment industry. His analysis and opinions have been featured in numerous media sources nationwide, including The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and MarketWatch. Jeff has also appeared on CNBC. He currently follows the Entertainment & Leisure industries within the Consumer Discretionary sector, as well as the broad Consumer Staples sector. He also followed the Retail industry for Hilliard Lyons earlier in his career. A Senior Vice President and Senior Analyst, Jeff currently holds Series 7, 63, 65, 86, and 87 licenses in addition to the Series 16 supervisory analyst license, and earned the Chartered Financial Analyst designation in 1997. Prior to joining Hilliard Lyons in 1990, he was an equity analyst and portfolio manager with Fifth Third Bancorp in Cincinnati, Ohio. Jeff holds a B.B.A. in Finance from the University of Kentucky and graduated with departmental honors.  

J. Stephen Turner, Vice President 
Analyst for Technology Industry
Stephen joined Hilliard Lyons in 2008. He began his career with the Consulting Services Group as a Due Diligence Analyst before joining the Research Department, and currently follows the Technology sector. His analysis and opinions have been featured in leading financial media sources including The Wall Street Journal and Barron’s. Prior to joining Hilliard Lyons he worked at Edward Jones Investments and Old National Bank. Stephen received his MBA from Southern Illinois University Carbondale and his B.S. in Finance from Murray State University. He holds Series 7, 66, 86, and 87 licenses in addition to the Series 16 Supervisory Analyst license.  
Over the past two decades, StarMine, a division of Thomson Reuters, has provided independent rankings of analysts in conjunction with media partners that have included and The Financial Times.
For Research Disclosures, please click here