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Jeronimo Martins Falls Most in 5 Months on Profit: Lisbon Mover

March 7 (Bloomberg) -- Jeronimo Martins SGPS SA, Portugal’s biggest retailer by market value, fell the most in five months after its full-year profit came in lower than analysts expected.

“The stock is being punished because company results were below analysts’ estimates,” said Juan Dieste, a trader at Orey iTrade in Lisbon.

The shares fell as much as 5.2 percent to 12.91 euros, the biggest drop in five months, and traded at 13.19 euros at 11:16 a.m. in Lisbon trading.

Jeronimo Martins’ net income gained 21 percent to 340 million euros ($446 million) in 2011, the company said today in a regulatory filing. That missed the 363.5 million-euro average of 10 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

A weak economy in Portugal, where Jeronimo Martins owns the Pingo Doce hypermarket and Recheio wholesale brands, has prompted the retailer to focus its investments in Poland, where its Biedronka chain is the biggest discount grocer, and Colombia, its third market.

“We would not rule out some price pressure after this neutral to negative set of results as Jeronimo Martins is by nature an outperformer,” Banco BPI said in a research report today. “Nevertheless, we were already expecting less glamorous fourth-quarter results and therefore we would recommend investors to take advantage of potential price weakness.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Henrique Almeida in Lisbon at halmeida5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jerrold Colten at jcolten@bloomberg.net

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