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Petrobras Record Loss Surprises Analysts as Oil Rout Bites

  • Biggest-ever writedown is more than a third of market value
  • `Just when you think Petrobras can't get worse, it does'
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Petroleo Brasileiro SA, the oil producer at the center of Brazil’s largest corruption scandal, reported a record loss that surprised analysts and sent shares lower.

The fourth quarter net loss of 36.9 billion reais ($10.2 billion), caused by unprecedented asset writedowns linked to falling oil prices, compared with an average profit forecast of 3.48 billion reais from six analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. At 46.4 billion reais, the impairments equated to more than a third of Petrobras’s market capitalization and exceeded the equity value of 97 percent of publicly-traded firms in Brazil.