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Ecopetrol Slumps as Investors Bet on Profit Drop: Bogota Mover

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May 2 (Bloomberg) -- Ecopetrol SA, Colombia’s state-controlled oil company, fell the most in two weeks as analysts forecast a fourth straight decline in quarterly profit.

Shares slid 1.9 percent to 4,305 pesos at 1:41 p.m. in Bogota and earlier fell as much as 2.6 percent, the steepest intraday decline April 15. The shares have lost 21 percent since Ecopetrol reported on Feb. 15 that fourth-quarter net income decreased 18 percent.

The company based in Bogota will report a 6.5 percent decline in first-quarter profit from a year earlier to 3.99 trillion pesos, according to the average of five estimates in a Bloomberg survey. That would be the fourth straight year-on-year quarterly drop.

“It’s an exit of investors who don’t want to be exposed to the results,” Omar Escorcia, an analyst with Asesores en Valores SA, said by telephone from Medellin.

Ecopetrol is scheduled to publish first-quarter results after the close of trading tomorrow.

Petroleo Brasileiro SA, Brazil’s state-controlled oil company, gained as much as 2.7 percent in Sao Paulo as crude oil prices climbed for the first time in three days.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Willis in Bogota at awillis21@bloomberg.net

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

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