Marfrig Alimentos SA (MRFG3), Brazil’s second-largest foodmaker, posted a fourth-quarter net loss that was higher than analysts expected after the cost of feeding its poultry and hogs jumped.
The net loss of 284.2 million reais ($141 million), or 60 centavos a share, compares with net income of 10.4 million reais, or 3 centavos, in the previous quarter, the Sao Paulo- based company said in a regulatory filing late yesterday. Marfrig was expected to post a loss of 63 million reais excluding one-time items, the average of nine analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
Marfrig doubled its processed-food capacity after the acquisition of plants from BRF - Brasil Foods SA (BRFS3) last year amid increasing prices for corn and soybeans used to feed its livestock. Average corn prices in the quarter rose 18 percent from a year earlier in Chicago, while soybeans advanced 26.
It was a “tough year-end” for Marfrig’s food-processing Seara Foods unit, Alexandre Miguel, a Sao Paulo-based analyst at Itau Unibanco Holding SA (ITUB4), said in a note to clients before earnings were released. Seara Foods accounts for about 70 percent of total sales.
Brasil Foods is Brazil’s largest food maker.
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