This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

5 Stocks to Bet on Farming, Like Soros Does

Stocks in this article: AGRO BG BRFS CRESY CZZ GS DB

BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- Billionaire investor George Soros has gone from gold bug to gaucho, as his hedge fund took a 23% stake in a South American farming conglomerate after dumping most gold holdings in the first quarter.

Soros' move underscores a growing trend among investors who are cutting back on gold and shifting into assets that can produce saleable products, such as farmland, and hence serve as an inflation hedge as well as a bet on the value of the land.

South America is the geographic hotspot for many of these companies due to its favorable growing climate, dearth of natural disasters, the availability of farmland and a minimal number of government restrictions on its ownership by foreigners.

And many companies there grow can grow sugar and corn which then have multiple uses for them depending on market conditions, either as human food, animal feed or to be converted into bio-fuels.

Other hedge funds recently joining Soros down on the farm are the $18.7 billion Van Eck Associates fund, which is the largest investor in Brasil Foods (BRFS), with a 1% stake, and D.E. Shaw & Co., which is the largest shareholder of Argentine farm conglomerate Cresud (CRESY) at just under 9% of its shares, according to Securities and Exchange Commission 13-F filings.

Renatto Barbieri, chief investment officer at Galtere Ltd., a New York-based private-equity firm that, among its many investments, runs a $1 billion agribusiness fund, said in an interview that "there is a global trend to be invested in, what we would call 'real assets,' and tangible assets in agriculture is very much a part of that basket."

He said that's being driven by concerns over "climate change, food (supply) security and the health of the financial system.

"And it's becoming clear, unfortunately, that agriculture has been mismanaged by public and private (entities) in the past so this is an area that offers tremendous opportunities in the future, and not just in South America. We may have food shortages" in the future, he said, and it is likely that governments will intervene if they see farmland in their country being manipulated by speculators. "The challenge is to be part of that solution," said Barbieri.

Larry Fink, chief executive officer of BlackRock (BLK), the largest asset manager in the world with $3.5 trillion in assets under management, expressed a concise view on the outlook for agribusiness in a February interview with the Australian edition of the Wall Street Journal. His admonition: "Go long agriculture and water, and go to the beach."

Here are five companies that are geographically diverse conglomerates with interesting long-term prospects:

1 of 6

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 18,053.71 +23.50 0.13%
S&P 500 2,088.77 +6.89 0.33%
NASDAQ 4,806.8590 +33.3870 0.70%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs