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Tecnisa Falls as Quarterly Sales Decline 54%: Sao Paulo Mover

April 16 (Bloomberg) -- Brazilian homebuilder Tecnisa SA headed to the lowest level in more than six months after saying sales declined 54 percent in the first quarter.

Shares fell 1.5 percent to 9.11 reais at 1:31 p.m in Sao Paulo. A close at that level would be the lowest since Oct. 5. The benchmark Bovespa index dropped 0.8 percent.

Contracted sales fell to 253.2 million reais ($137.8 million) in the quarter from 546.6 million reais a year earlier, according to preliminary results the company released after the close of trading on April 13. Tecnisa said it held back new projects to reduce inventories, which rose 23 percent to 2 billion reais at the end of the quarter.

“Although we assumed a conservative stance in our estimates, Tecnisa operating results came in well below our expectations,” Guilherme Rocha, Daniel Gasparete and Vanessa Quiroga, analysts at Credit Suisse AG, wrote in a report today. The company “should continue to face tough challenges in the short term, both on the operational and financial fronts.”

The company maintained its new projects target of 2.2 billion reais for this year, according to the filing.

To contact the reporter on this story: Katerina Petroff in Sao Paulo at kpetroff@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Helder Marinho at hmarinho@bloomberg.net

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