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Gafisa Slumps Most on Bovespa as Sales Decline: Sao Paulo Mover

Gafisa SA, the homebuilder whose earnings have trailed analysts’ estimates for the past two years, slumped after reporting that sales declined as customers canceled purchases.

Shares slumped 5 percent to 4.03 reais at the close of trading in Sao Paulo. The stock was the worst performer on the benchmark Bovespa index, which gained 2 percent.

Gafisa’s sales dropped to 204.6 million reais ($103 million) in the three months through March from 927.8 million reais a year earlier as cancellations reached 481.5 million reais, according to a regulatory filing disclosing its preliminary results after the close of trading yesterday. It was the first decline in sales since the fourth quarter of 2011, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Results were “disappointing,” Luiz Mauricio Garcia, Alain Nicolau and Carlos Firetti, analysts at Banco Bradesco SA’s brokerage unit, wrote in a research note to clients today. “It is to be expected that financial results of the first quarter of 2013 will take a hard hit.”

Gafisa, Brazil’s fourth-largest homebuilder by revenue, has been turning away from government-sponsored projects aimed at low-income families in favor of higher-end projects. Its shares have dropped 15 percent this year while the Bovespa retreated 12 percent.

The homebuilder had an adjusted net loss of 124.5 million reais in 2012, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That compares with an average estimate of net income of 25.6 million reais among analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Adjusted net loss was 1.1 billion reais in 2011, compared with an average estimate of profit of 103.5 million reais.

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