PREVIEW-Mexico's Cemex may post narrower loss in Q4

martes 31 de enero de 2012 09:07 CST

* WHAT: Cement maker Cemex fourth-quarter results
    * WHEN: Thursday, Feb. 2 before market open
    * REUTERS ESTIMATE: net loss of $198 million

    By Gabriela Lopez	
    MEXICO CITY, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Mexican cement maker
Cemex is expected to post a narrower loss in the fourth quarter
as asset sales and a payment from the Venezuelan government
helped the company lower its debt and meet obligations.	
    A Reuters poll among six analysts showed that Cemex
  may have lost $198 million in the
October-to-December period, an improvement over the $574 million
loss recorded in the same quarter of 2010.	
    Cemex, one of the world's biggest cement-makers, got a $240
million cash compensation in the fourth quarter from a claim
settlement over President Hugo Chavez's 2008 nationalization of
the Mexican company's business in Venezuela. 	
    The payment, along with other asset sales and improved
operating profit in the period, should have helped Cemex to meet
a December covenant, tightly watched by the market.	
    "The fact that Cemex meets that covenant and better global
financial conditions should continue helping the positive trend
of the stock short term," said Santander analyst Gonzalo
    Cemex, one of a small group of Mexican companies with a
global presence, expanded from a small family business into more
than 50 countries due to aggressive acquisitions. 	
    But the shopping spree came to a halt as its $16 billion
purchase of Australian rival Rinker in 2007 got tangled in the
collapse of the U.S. housing market shortly afterward.	
    Cemex's share price has more than doubled since plunging to
3.25 pesos on Oct. 4, its lowest level in 13 years, as investors
dumped the stock on rising concerns about its ability to meet
debt obligations.	
    On Monday, its shares edged up 0.46 percent to close at 8.70
pesos while its New York-traded shares slipped 0.15 percent to
    Cemex's stock price rebound during the last quarter of 2011
should also have helped the company to generate gains from
derivatives, which will lift the bottom line, analysts said.	
    Following is a table with the average expected results. All
figures in dollars.   	
                2011         2010    PERCENTAGE
              OCT-DEC      OCT-DEC     CHANGE
 SALES       3.523 bln   3.492 bln   + 0.89 pct
 EBIDTA        529 mln     482 mln   + 9.75 pct
 OP.PROFIT     180 mln     126 mln   +42.86 pct
 NET PROFIT   -198 mln    -574 mln      n/a
    ($1 = 13.9725 pesos as of end December)	
 (Reporting by Gabriela Lopez; Editing by Maureen Bavdek)