Latin American Markets Mostly Lower; Petrobras Slipping Ahead of Q4 Results, Dragging On Brazil's Ibovespa Index
Latin American markets are mostly lower, matching declines elsewhere across the globe. The Brazilian bourse is down for the first session in three, pulled under by a decline for Petroleo Brasileiro ( PBR ), also known as Petrobras, with the state-owned gas and oil company slated to report its Q4 results later tonight.
U.S.-listed PBR shares are down about 3% to near $18 apiece and nearer 52 week lows this afternoon with analysts, on average, expecting the company to report a $0.56 per share profit, up from a $0.44 gain during the final three months of 2011. Revenue is seen rising about 14% over year-ago levels to around $41.31 billion.
Despite that expected top- and bottom-line advance, many analysts are worried PBR's sales and profit will fail to keep pace with growing cash-flow and debt problems brought on by soaring costs, rising imports and fuel subsidies.
Here's where the regional markets stand today:
- Ibovespa down around 1,000 points (-1.65%) to 59,353.3.
- IPC (Mexico City) up 490.43 (+1.08%) to 45,768.49.
- Santiago Index IPSA down 16.2 (-0.4%) to 3,921.45.
- Merval Buenos Aires down 97.8 (-2.8%) to 3,433.6
In other company news, Companhia de Saneamento Basico do Estado de Sao Paulo ( SBS ) is up 2% and has hit 52 week highs after Bank of America Merrill Lynch today reiterated its call as a top pick among Latin America utilities.