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Latin American Markets Mostly Lower; Petrobras Slipping Ahead of Q4 Results, Dragging On Brazil's Ibovespa Index

By: MT Newswires
Posted: 2/4/2013 1:18:00 PM
Referenced Stocks: PBR;SBS

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.