Minerva Advances as BTG Rates Stock Buy Amid Strong Exports

Minerva SA, Brazil’s third-largest beef producer, rose after Grupo BTG Pactual rated the stock a buy and said the company’s balance sheet will improve and earnings will grow this year amid strong exports.

The shares gained 3.2 percent to 12.05 reais at the close of trading in Sao Paulo. The Bovespa Small Cap index, of which Sao Paulo-based Minerva is a member, was little changed.

Minerva is a “well-run company with an attractive valuation and strong earnings growth,” Thiago Duarte, Fabio Monteiro and Enrico Grimaldi, the BTG analysts, wrote today in a note to clients. BTG’s 12-month price target for Minerva is 17 reais.

Minerva’s adjusted net income in the fourth quarter probably soared 70 percent from a year earlier to 28.1 billion reais ($14.4 billion), according to the average estimate of seven analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. The company is scheduled to report results on March 14.

Minerva gained 112 percent in 2012 and 3.2 percent this year through March 8. Rival JBS SA advanced 17 percent in 2013 and Marfrig SA rose 6.8 percent.

BTG’s call followed similar buy recommendations earlier this year by Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank AG, HSBC Holdings Plc, Eva Dimensions, Banco Itau BBA SA and Banco Espirito Santos SA.

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