Brisa Hits 13-Year Low as 2011 Toll Revenue May Miss Target

Brisa-Auto Estradas de Portugal SA, the country’s biggest toll-road operator, dropped to the lowest level in more than 13 years in Lisbon trading after the company said 2011 toll revenue in Portugal may miss its target.

Toll revenue at the company’s main concession may miss the March forecast of a 2 percent to 3 percent gain, Chief Executive Officer Vasco de Mello said in a phone interview July 29. Brisa is reducing expenditures and maintaining cash generation to offset worsened economic prospects, Mello said. Natixis Securities cut its price target to 3.10 euros from 3.90 euros.

“The company’s outlook is one of the reasons dragging on the shares,” Pedro Oliveira, a trader at GoBulling in Lisbon, said by phone. The stock also dropped after Natixis’s lower price target, he said. Natixis cited weaker-than-expected traffic figures for the cut.

The shares fell 7.9 percent to finish at 2.99 euros, the lowest close since December 1997. It was Brisa’s biggest-one-day decline since April 2010.

Brisa expects earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization minus capital spending of at least 350 million euros ($503 million) this year, Mello said. Ebitda excluding capital spending was 345 million euros last year, according to a company presentation.

Toll revenue dropped 1.7 percent to 261.7 million euros in the first half, the company said in a statement July 29. Total revenue rose 2.2 percent to 323.7 million euros.

“This stock is still a bet on Portugal’s macroeconomic situation, as it has been for over a year,” said Natixis analysts including Gregoire Thibault.

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