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The 2014 All-Brazil Research Team: Food & Beverages, No. 1: Thiago Duarte

Thiago Duarte BTG Pactual First-place appearances: 1

Total appearances: 1

Team debut: 2014

Thiago Duarte of BTG Pactual debuts in first place in this sector, which is newly split from the former Consumer Goods category, and in Agribusiness. The 30-year-old analyst, who works out of São Paulo, joined BTG in 2009 from U.K. buy-side firm Schroder Investment Management, where he tracked Brazil’s consumer stocks. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the Universidade de São Paulo. After some 18 months of holding a neutral position with a negative bias on Marfrig Global Foods, in large part owing to debt-financing concerns, Duarte in late June turned positive on Brazil’s third-largest meatpacker and urged investors to buy. Liability management initiatives and the potential initial public offerings of the São Paulo–based company’s international subsidiaries “could kick-start a much needed balance sheet deleveraging and a potentially massive equity value rerating,” he advised at the time. At 5.60 reais, the stock was then down 34 percent since the beginning of 2013, lagging the sector by 32.5 percentage points, and Duarte forecast a rise to 7 reais. By the end of July, Marfrig’s share price had rebounded 18.2 percent, to 6.62 reais, while the sector inched up 1.4 percent. The analyst also favors Marfrig competitor Minerva, which also is headquartered in São Paulo, on valuation and the increasing strength of beef packers’ pricing power resulting from “a lack of beef in other exporting regions and increasing demand from China,” he explains. Duarte’s 14 reais target price for the shares implies an upside of 21.3 percent to their late July trading value

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