Gafisa Tumbles on Unexpected First-Quarter Loss: Sao Paulo Mover

Gafisa SA sank the most in three weeks after the Brazilian homebuilder reported a surprise loss for a second consecutive quarter as customers facing difficulty getting financing canceled purchases.

The shares slumped 5 percent to 4 reais at the close of trading in Sao Paulo, biggest one-day drop since April 17. Trading volume was 14.1 million shares, compared with a 30-day average of 6 million shares. The Ibovespa declined 1.2 percent.

Gafisa’s adjusted net loss was 55.5 million reais ($27.5 million) in the three months through March, according to data compiled by Bloomberg after the company released results late on May 10. The average estimate of six analysts surveyed by Bloomberg was for adjusted net income of 10.8 million reais.

Canceled sales totaling 482 million reais accounted for the loss in the most recent quarter, Gafisa said in a regulatory filing. The terminations came as the company backed away from government-subsidized projects aimed at low-income families after it overestimated demand and built inexpensive houses faster than it could sell them.

“It’s bad news,’ Javier Gayol, an analyst at Corporativo GBM SAB in Mexico City, said in a telephone interview. ‘‘We expected the company to finalize the clean-up by late 2012. This high level of cancellations further blurs the visibility on the company’s ability to go on and actually turn around results as they had guided.”

Gafisa Chief Executive Officer Duilio Calciolari said on a conference call that while cancellations are still significant, they are expected to be lower in the second quarter.

The Sao Paulo-based company’s shares have declined 15 percent this year, while the BM&FBovespa Real Estate index fell 12 percent and the Ibovespa dropped 11 percent.

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