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Hites Slumps in Chile for Third Day on Lower Earnings

March 11 (Bloomberg) -- Empresas Hites SA, Chile’s fifth-largest department store operator, posted its biggest three-day drop in a year as analysts said a measure of operating profit was below their expectations.

Hites tumbled 4.4 percent to 550.05 pesos at the close in Santiago and has tumbled 12 percent over three days, the largest such decline since October 2011. The stock was the biggest loser on the country’s benchmark Ipsa index, which was little changed on the day.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization totaled 10.8 billion pesos ($22.9 million) in the fourth quarter, according to a March 7 filing from the Santiago-based company. The figure, known as Ebitda, was lower than estimated by Bice Inversiones. Ebitda as a percentage of revenue fell to 13.5 percent from 14.1 percent.

“The lower-than-expected Ebitda explains the fall since the report,” Aldo Morales, an analyst at Bice, said today in a telephone interview.

The stock had rallied 53 percent this year prior to the earnings report, and now investors are “taking some profits,” Morales said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eduardo Thomson in Santiago at ethomson1@bloomberg.net

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

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