Hites Posts Weekly Gain in Chile on Index Entry, Ratios

Empresas Hites SA (HITES) gained today, marking its best start of the year since it began trading in 2009, after the cheapest of Chile’s five department store operators was included in the Ipsa index.

Hites advanced 2.1 percent to 480 pesos at 11:53 a.m. in Santiago, its highest price on a closing basis since Aug. 2011. In the last week the stock has gained 7.7 percent, its biggest weekly gain since Nov. 16. In the year-to-date, the stock has increased 17 percent.

“Its currently the cheapest Chilean retailer” in terms of its price-earnings ratio, Juan Pablo Castillo, an analyst at Santiago-based Banco Penta, said in a phone interview. The stock was also “overly punished” after an accounting scandal at rival Empresas La Polar SA undermined investor confidence in the industry, he said.

Hites, which was included in the Ipsa benchmark this year by the Santiago exchange, currently trades at 13.4 times price- to-earnings ratio. Peers Ripley Corp SA trades at 27 times, SACI Falabella is valued at 34 times and Cencosud SA, trades at 25 times, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Hites fell 53 percent in 2011, the year that La Polar filed for bankruptcy protection after announcing accounting irregularities. The stock rebounded 27 percent last year.

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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