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Usiminas Net Beats Forecast After Gross Profit Rises

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March 7 (Bloomberg) -- Usinas Siderurgicas de Minas Gerais SA, the second-largest Brazilian steelmaker by output, fell to a one-week low and led losses in Sao Paulo after saying fourth-quarter profit plummeted 84 percent.

Usiminas fell 2.1 percent to 11.90 reais in Sao Paulo at 12:17 p.m. Earlier, the stock dropped to 11.80 reais, the lowest intraday since March 1.

Net income excluding minority interests shrank to 44.6 million reais ($25.4 million), from 285.8 million reais a year earlier, Usiminas, as the Belo Horizonte, Brazil-based company is known, said today in a regulatory filing. The company was expected to post a net loss excluding some items of 9.1 million reais, the average of five analysts in a Bloomberg survey.

Net sales dropped 8.7 percent to 2.82 billion reais in the period, less than the 10 percent decline in the cost of goods sold, Usiminas said. Steel output declined 5 percent to 1.51 million metric tons.

Steelmakers in Brazil struggled last year as slowing growth in Latin America’s biggest economy reduced demand from manufacturers of cars and home appliances. Production of flat-rolled steel, which Usiminas supplies to carmakers, declined 6.6 percent in Brazil last year, according to the Brazilian Steel Institute.

To contact the reporter on this story: Juan Pablo Spinetto in Rio de Janeiro at jspinetto@bloomberg.net

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