2015 All-Latin America Research Team: Agribusiness, No. 1: Thiago Duarte & team
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2015 All-Latin America Research Team: Agribusiness, No. 1: Thiago Duarte & team


< The 2015 Latin America Research Team

Thiago Duarte & teamBTG PactualFirst-Place Appearances: 2

Total Appearances: 5

Team Debut: 2008Thiago Duarte leads his BTG Pactual crew to a second consecutive first-place finish on this lineup and joins with Rafael Shin in overseeing a squad that repeats at No. 1 on the Food & Beverages roster. In their reporting on Latin America’s agribusiness names, the 31-year-old researcher and his teammate bring to bear “excellent knowledge of the industry and great analyses,” one money manager observes. Investors also hail the São Paulo–based duo’s stock-picking prowess and ability to provide direct access to corporate management teams. The analysts dubbed Brazilian sugar and ethanol producer São Martinho a top pick in February 2014 and remain upbeat on the name, noting that the company’s performance is less dependent on sugar prices than in the past, its land bank offers hidden value, and its stock generates a compelling double-digit free-cash-flow yield. “Being the most cost-efficient player in the sector puts it at a privileged position even under weak sugar-ethanol prices,” explains Duarte. By the middle of last month, São Martinho’s stock had soared 43.6 percent, to 36.62 reais, besting the regional broad market by 36 percentage points. Duarte’s team believes that a price of 47 reais is justified. “We think ethanol producers are set to benefit from improving prices throughout the coming year, as ethanol becomes more competitive vis-à-vis gasoline in Brazil,” he says. “This could provide some midterm support to sugar prices.” The researchers are less enthusiastic about grain producers in 2015, however. “We’re cautious as prices continue to trend south, a reflection of mounting global inventories, while the regulatory framework on land ownership in Brazil still brings uncertainties that may keep investors away from the sector,” he concludes.

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