Cemex SAB (CEMEXCPO), the largest cement maker in the Americas, lost money for the 18th straight quarter as a drop in Mexican construction activity hurt the company in its home market.
The loss in the first quarter was $293 million compared with a loss of $281 million a year earlier, the Monterrey, Mexico-based company said in a statement today. Operating earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization increased 3 percent to $535 million, missing the $564.4 million average of seven analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
A slowdown in the Mexican housing industry and in public-works spending has extended Cemex’s streak of losses after the company emerged from a deep downturn in the U.S. home-building market. Cemex said its sales in Mexico fell 6 percent to $737 million in the first quarter.
“We’re seeing more of the same in Mexico, we’re not seeing many projects getting started,” said Fernando Bolanos, an analyst at Monex Casa de Bolsa, said before the earnings were released. He has a hold recommendation on the shares. “There’s also a little skepticism about whether the government can attain its spending goals.”
First-quarter sales rose 8 percent to $3.59 billion.
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