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Copa Airlines Falls Most in Four Years on Earnings: Miami Mover

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Feb. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Copa Holdings SA tumbled the most in four years after the Panama-based airline company reported fourth quarter earnings that were below analyst expectations.

Shares in Copa fell about 11 percent to $99.03 in New York trading, the biggest drop since December 2008. Volume of 1.86 million was 530 percent more than the company’s three-month average.

The airline reported yesterday that net income for the fourth quarter was $86.6 million, down from $104.4 million a year before. Analysts had forecast net income of $95 million. In a conference call with analysts today, Chief Financial Officer Victor Vial said that Copa had about $190 million of local currency cash in Venezuela, which is at risk for devaluation.

Copa shares may sink further as investors view the stock as too expensive, said Craig Sterling, managing director and head of global equity research at New York-based Eva Dimensions.

“It’s been a very expensive stock,” Sterling said in phone interview today. “The current value is a little bit more reasonable.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Eric Sabo in Panama City at esabo1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Bill Faries at wfaries@bloomberg.net

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