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The 2014 All-Brazil Research Team: Health Care, No. 1: João Carlos dos Santos

João Carlos dos Santos BTG Pactual First-place appearances: 3

Total appearances: 6

Team debut: 2009

It’s three in a row at the top of this roster for BTG Pactual’s João Carlos dos Santos, whom one client describes as “the best there is.” The São Paulo–based researcher, 34, monitors half a dozen Brazilian health care stocks and also notches his third consecutive top finish in Education this year. Since January, Santos has been advising investors to buy OdontoPrev. He upgraded the shares from neutral, at 8.75 reais, thanks to the São Paulo–headquartered dental benefits provider’s strong earnings momentum and steady cash generation. The stock climbed as high as 10 reais in mid-July before slipping to 9.31 reais at month’s end. Going forward, however, he is broadly cautious, citing weak job creation and rising health care costs. Still, as health providers cancel unprofitable contracts, says Santos, “deteriorating profitability may reach a bottom soon.” One favorite is Qualicorp, a São Paulo–based corporate insurance and benefits manager on which he initiated coverage with a buy rating in October 2011, partly on the company’s ability to leverage price increases. By the end of July 2014, the stock had rocketed 94.3 percent since his endorsement — climbing 58.1 percent in the preceding 12 months alone and besting the sector by 25.2 percentage points — to 26.25 reais. Santos continues to recommend buying Qualicorp, with a price target of 28 reais, owing to recent operational improvements. “J.C. takes the long view and is usually right,” attests another buy-side backer.

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