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2012 a turnaround year for Brookfield: analyst

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Brookfield Asset Management (BAM.A-T) shareholders endured a 12-percent slide in their investment in 2011, outpacing a more than 11-percent decline for the overall TSX index. All the while, analysts on the Street maintained their bullish take on the company, with nine out of the ten analysts covering the stock holding their 'buy' rating.

Mark Rothschild, real estate analyst at Canaccord Genuity, tells BNN that 2012 could be a far better year for Brookfield's share price.

"Brookfield traded more like a financial last year than like a real estate or infrastructure asset," he says. "When you look at the value of Brookfield, most of the value is in real estate, power and infrastructure assets, which are quite stable and have highly predictable cash flows."

Rothschild says Brookfield's extensive U.S. land development and home-building operations -- which have been hurt by the housing crash -- will begin to turnaround in 2012.

"We look at that [land development and home building operations] as an opportunity," he says. "As the U.S. housing market recovers, Brookfield has a lot of leverage to that recovery, not only through their residential properties, but also through their timber business."

Rothschild also says that while Scotiabank's downtown Toronto office building is a piece of property Brookfield "would love to own," the timing isn't right.

"I don't think they will pursue this asset aggressively because the price will be too high," he says. "This is not the point in the cycle where they are typically aggressively buying assets, it's more when real estate is out of favour. We expect there to be quite a few bidders, whether it's pension funds or foreign buyers to take advantage of low interest rates and the demand for yield."

Rothschild has a 'buy' rating on Brookfield and a $36.39 price target.

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