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The 2014 All-Brazil Research Team: Education, No. 2: Thiago Capucci Macruz

Thiago Capucci Macruz Itaú BBA First-place appearances: 0

Total appearances: 2

Team debut: 2013

Repeating in second place on this lineup is Itaú BBA analyst Thiago Capucci Macruz, who also claims the No. 3 spot in Health Care. He is positive on the prospects for this group. “We believe that the companies will continue to reap the benefits of the operating leverage coming from the higher number of students per class,” the São Paulo–based researcher says. “Plus, we have yet to see a deteriorating intake growth trend for the sector as a whole. So far, growth trends for the sector continue remarkably strong.” Of the four Brazilian education names Macruz covers, GAEC Anima Educação has been a favorite since mid-December. Given the São Paulo–based university owner and administrator’s attractive combination of low short-term valuation multiples — including a projected price-earnings ratio of 14.2 times for this year — and relatively small student population, he advises, even marginal M&A activity has the potential to be transformational. In April, Anima management announced that it intended to acquire São Paulo’s Universidade São Judas Tadeu, a postsecondary provider, for 320 million reais ($146 million), sending the stock skyward. In May, Macruz reiterated his position — and by the end of July, GAEC had risen 38.7 percent, to close at 28.83 reais and best the broad market by 30.9 percentage points. His target price for the stock is 36.80 reais.

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