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Natura Jumps as Productivity and Dividends Rise: Sao Paulo Mover

Feb. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Natura Cosmeticos SA jumped the most in four weeks after reporting a productivity gain in the fourth quarter and raising dividend payments.

Shares of Latin America’s biggest cosmetics maker rose 2.7 percent to 53.30 reais at the close of trading in Sao Paulo, the biggest advance since Jan. 10. The benchmark Bovespa index slid 1 percent.

Natura’s adjusted net income fell 12 percent to 257.3 million reais ($130.8 million) in the last quarter of 2012 from the same period one year earlier, according to data compiled by Bloomberg after the company released results late yesterday.

“Natura’s strategy for boosting productivity in Brazil continued to pay off, leading to a 2.9 percent increase in sales representatives’ productivity in the domestic market,” Ricardo Boiati, Alan Cardoso and Pedro Bueno, analysts at Banco Bradesco SA’s brokerage unit, wrote in a note to clients dated today.

The company also announced 488 million reais in dividends and interest on capital, which when added to the amounts already paid to shareholders will amount to 1.97 reais per share for 2012, the analysts wrote.

Natura said in a statement yesterday after the market closed that it is paying investors in 2012 a total of 846 million reais, 11 percent more than in 2011. “That corresponds to 100 percent of 2012’s net income,” the company said.

The number of the cosmetics maker’s independent sales representatives in Brazil rose 7.9 percent to 1.268 million at the end of the fourth quarter of last year, and earnings in the domestic market rose 8.9 percent during the year, according to the statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Denyse Godoy in Sao Paulo at dgodoy2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Papadopoulos at papadopoulos@bloomberg.net

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