Fernando Ferreira, Isabella Simonato & teamBank of America Merrill LynchFirst-place appearances: 1
Total appearances: 15
Team debut: 1997
At No. 2 last year, Bank of America Merrill Lynchs São Paulobased team under the guidance of 28-year-old Isabella Simonato and Fernando Ferreira, 31, captures third place on this roster and on the Agribusiness lineup. The researchers have good corporate access and a more comprehensive universe than competitors, one money manager attests. Another client especially hails the trios solid coverage on the Brazilian food companies and is grateful that they accurately follow the meat and poultry price cycles. The squad tracks 15 regional food and beverages stocks and is more optimistic about the protein suppliers in its portfolio than the drinks names, which face macroeconomic and foreign exchange headwinds, the analysts advise. The outlook for proteins in the coming year is positive, says Ferreira, as the companies should benefit from a weaker real; lower raw materials costs, mainly in grains; sustained beef and poultry prices, as producers globally have been more rational about adding new supply; and an improving outlook for exports, as the U.S. and China recently opened for the Brazilian beef. Specifically, they are bullish on three Brazil-based global leaders in the meat processing industry BRF (formerly BRF Brasil Foods), JBS and Marfrig while maintaining a neutral stance on Mexico-based multinational baker Grupo Bimbo and Brazils M Dias Branco, a provider of such wheat-derived products as biscuits, bran, flour and pasta.