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Minerva Rises Most in a Week After Debt Cut, Cash Generation

March 21 (Bloomberg) -- Minerva SA, Brazil’s least indebted meatpacker, rose the most in a week after lower cattle prices helped it to generate cash and cut debt.

Minerva climbed 1.1 percent to 12.75 reais at the close of trading in Sao Paulo, the most since March 13. Trading volume was 3.3 times the three-month daily average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Brazil’s benchmark Bovespa stock index dropped 0.8 percent.

Minerva, which generated free cash flow for a fifth consecutive quarter, had cash flow of 63.9 million reais ($31.8 million) in the three months ended Dec. 31 after cattle acquisition prices fell, it said in a statement yesterday. The company, based in Barretos, Brazil, cut debt to 2.8 times earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization in the fourth quarter from 3.7 times a year ago, it said.

Minerva had “positive cash flow generation, despite pressure from operating expenses,” Ricardo Boiati, an analyst with Banco Bradesco SA, said in a note to clients today. He has the company’s rating under review.

The company posted a net loss of 21.8 million reais in the quarter, compared with a gain of 14.8 million reais a year ago.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lucia Kassai in Sao Paulo at lkassai@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Attwood at jattwood3@bloomberg.net

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