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Vedanta Declines as Earnings, Copper Output Miss Estimates

Jan. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Vedanta Resources Plc, an India-focused metals and oil company, fell the most in six weeks in London as quarterly earnings and copper output missed estimates.

Vedanta declined 3.6 percent to 807.5 pence, the biggest drop since Dec. 12. It reported earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of $1.14 billion for the three months to December, compared with $1.11 billion a year earlier. Ebitda missed estimates by 3 percent, JPMorgan Chase & Co. said.

The bank will reduce its full-year estimates by 1 percent for Ebitda and 8 percent for earnings per share, JPMorgan said.

Vedanta has suffered from lower copper output in Zambia and rising costs at its Konkola Copper Mines unit in the country. Copper accounted for more than a quarter of revenue at the company last year, making it Vedanta’s biggest unit by sales.

Copper output at Konkola declined 24 percent in the quarter to 31,000 metric tons, Vedanta said today in a statement. The company expects to produce 130,000 to 135,000 tons of the metal in Zambia this year, it said, lowering its 140,000-ton forecast from November as it overhauls the operation to boost efficiency.

Vedanta released a “slightly soft third-quarter trading update this morning, with underwhelming Zambian copper production,” said Roger Bell, an analyst at JPMorgan.

The company also produces zinc, aluminum and energy. Quarterly gross operated oil and gas output climbed 10 percent from a year earlier to average 224,493 barrels of oil equivalent a day, driven by increased volumes from Rajasthan state, where the company taps India’s biggest onshore oilfield.

Output of refined zinc in India rose 17 percent to 196,000 tons, it said. Aluminum output gained 1 percent to 199,000 tons.

To contact the reporter on this story: Firat Kayakiran in London at fkayakiran@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Viljoen at jviljoen@bloomberg.net

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