Bloomberg News

Aguas Andinas Falls in Chile as BofA Cuts to Neutral

April 19, 2013

Aguas Andinas SA (AGUAS/A) fell the most in three weeks after Bank of America Corp. cut its recommendation on Chile’s largest water utility to the equivalent of hold, saying the stock was overvalued compared with peers.

Aguas Andinas dropped 1.5 percent to 396.47 pesos, its biggest decline since March 25 on a closing basis and ending a four-day streak of gains. The stock was the worst performer today on Chile’s benchmark Ipsa index, which rose 0.6 percent.

Bank of America cut the rating to neutral from buy and maintained its price target at 420 pesos per share, according to an e-mailed note to clients yesterday. The stock’s gains will be limited after rising 17 percent this year, the bank said.

“Outlook remains positive, but with limited upside,” Bank of America analysts Diego Moreno, Felipe Leal and Luiz Antonio Leite wrote. “In our view the share price has run ahead of its fundamentals.”

Aguas Andinas, based in Santiago, is still the best performer on the Ipsa this year after retailer Forus SA (FORUS), which has increased 18 percent. Inversiones Aguas Metropolitanas SA (IAM), Aguas Andinas’s controller, has advanced 7.8 percent in 2013.

Brazilian water company Cia. de Saneamento Basico do Estado de Sao Paulo, or Sabesp, is Bank of America’s top pick in the water-utilities sector, the analysts wrote in yesterday’s note.

Aguas Andinas must return about $5 million to customers as compensation for cuts in service in January and February, according to a statement posted yesterday on the company’s website.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eduardo Thomson in Santiago at ethomson1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Papadopoulos at papadopoulos@bloomberg.net


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