Ecopetrol Falls

Ecopetrol SA, Colombia’s state-controlled oil producer, fell to the lowest in more than a year after reporting a drop in first-quarter earnings that was steeper than expected.

The stock slid 3.2 percent to 4,180 pesos at the close in Bogota, the lowest since Dec. 19, 2011.

Net income for the quarter was 3.41 trillion pesos ($1.86 billion), down 20 percent from the year earlier and below the average 3.99 trillion pesos of five analysts’ estimates in a Bloomberg survey. The Bogota-based company reported earnings after the market closed on May 3.

Oil futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange closed up 55 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $96.16 a barrel, the highest settlement since April 2. Ecopetrol is the world’s eighth-largest oil company by market value.

“The lower oil prices in Q2 bring increased risks for weaker Q2 results,” Citigroup analysts Pedro Medeiros and Fernando Valle said today in an e-mailed report, adding that the earnings miss may increase the chance of a reduced dividend.

Quarterly sales fell 7.1 percent from a year earlier to 16.75 trillion pesos. Output rose 6.4 percent to 790,800 barrels of oil equivalent a day, from 743,400 barrels a year earlier.

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