Southern Copper Drops After Profit Misses Estimates: Lima Mover

Southern Copper Corp. (PCU), the largest producer of the metal in Peru and Mexico, fell for a third day in four as earnings failed to meet investor expectations and the company postponed the startup of a copper mine.

Southern Copper, a unit of Grupo Mexico SAB, declined 0.5 percent to $34.80 at 12:41 p.m. in Lima after earlier falling as much as 1.4 percent.

“The earnings report wasn’t as favorable as the market had hoped,” said Leoncio Altamirano, a trader at Lima-based brokerage Juan Magot y Asociados SAB. “Investors also feel the company won’t recover what they invested in the stalled Tia Maria project.”

Southern said fourth-quarter net income climbed 9 percent to $537 million, or 64 cents a share, from $492 million, or 58 cents, in the year-earlier period. Analysts expected a profit of 70.4 cents a share, according to data compiled by Bloomberg (PCU).

A drop in copper prices offset a 24 percent gain in Southern’s output. Average copper prices fell 13 percent in the quarter from a year earlier on investor concern the slowing global economy and escalating European debt crisis will pare Chinese demand.

The company today delayed the startup of its $900 million Tia Maria mine in Peru to 2015 as the company prepares a new environmental impact study for the project, suspended last year by environmental protests.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alex Emery in Lima at aemery1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dale Crofts at dcrofts@bloomberg.net

Bloomberg reserves the right to remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.