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E.CL Falls in Chile on Biggest Quarterly Loss in Decade

Aug. 1 (Bloomberg) -- E.CL SA, northern Chile’s largest power supplier, fell to a three week low today as increased fuel costs at its thermoelectric plants led to the company’s biggest quarterly loss in a decade.

Shares of the unit of France’s GDF Suez retreated 0.2 percent to 797.92 pesos at the close of trading in Santiago, the lowest since July 12. The IPSA benchmark index climbed for the first time in six days, advancing 2.6 percent.

The company attributed the loss to higher costs as maintenance work at the Mejillones liquefied natural gas port limited imports, forcing E.CL to buy diesel fuel for its plants at higher prices.

“After the results, we expect negative pressures” to remain, Banco de Credito e Inversiones said in an e-mailed research note today. “We don’t see a short-term catalyst for the stock,” the bank said, citing a lack of new power projects to boost earnings.

E.CL reported a net loss of $8.51 million in the second quarter, compared with a profit of $6.56 million a year earlier, according to a regulatory filing yesterday after the close of trading. Analysts expected a loss of $680,000, according to the average of four estimates compiled by Bloomberg. The loss was the biggest since the third quarter of 2002.

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Brendan Walsh at bwalsh8@bloomberg.net

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