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The 2014 All-Brazil Research Team: Agribusiness, No. 1: Thiago Duarte

Thiago Duarte BTG Pactual First-place appearances: 1

Total appearances: 3

Team debut: 2012

After two years in second place, BTG Pactual’s Thiago Duarte rises to claim his first top finish on this roster. The 30-year-old, São Paulo–based researcher also captures the No. 1 position in Food & Beverages this year. “Thiago had a great, out-of-consensus, bullish call on sugar prices and their impact on São Martinho shares,” says one investor. The ethanol and sugar producer, among the eight agribusiness shares the analyst covers, has been a singular outperformer, Duarte notes. Although the sector overall has struggled this year, he says, São Paulo’s São Martinho has outperformed thanks to its superior management, quality mills and effective cost controls, which he believes will continue to spur near-term improvements in cash flow and returns to shareholders. The shares soared 32.3 percent year to date through July, closing at 37.98 reais, while Brazil’s broad market gained 5.2 percent. He remains bullish on São Martinho and recommends, in general, that investors favor diversified companies with demonstrated ability to manage costs. In this vein, Duarte also touts São Paulo–based conglomerate Cosan, which operates throughout Brazil’s energy and infrastructure industries. Before joining BTG in 2009, Duarte covered Brazilian consumer shares at U.K.-based asset manager Schroder Investment Management. He holds a bachelors’ degree in economics from the Universidade de São Paulo.

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