* Acciona studying legal action against energy reforms
* Sees 160-170 million euro pretax hit
* Plans to cut dividend by 20 percent in 2013, 2014
* Shares fall 3.1 percent
(Adds details, background, comment and shares)
MADRID, March 1 Spanish building and energy firm
Acciona is cutting investment and dividends because of
energy sector reforms it estimates will wipe about 165 million
euros ($216 million) from annual pretax earnings.
"We believe (the measures) are a major breach of investor
confidence with a massive impact on our profit and loss," an
Acciona executive said on a conference call on Friday.
Government measures such as a power generation tax and
subsidy cuts designed to mend a deficit in the utility sector
have a significant impact on renewable energy firms like
Acciona, which said it was studying legal action.
Spanish thermosolar company Abengoa has also
threatened legal action though Spanish firms are considered to
have little recourse because the laws were passed as decrees.
Foreign investors may have a better chance of compensation
through an international energy treaty that protects their
Acciona said it will cut its dividend by 20 percent this
year and next, scale back investment to about 600 million euros
and sell up to 1 billion euros of assets, including a small
stake in its energy business.
The company is targeting flat growth in net profit and
underlying earnings this year, it said, after posting a 6
percent year-on-year fall in net profit to 189 million euros in
Underlying earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and
amortisation (EBITDA) rose 9 percent to 1.43 billion euros
thanks to a strong contribution from its energy arm.
By 1430 GMT, Acciona's shares were down 3.1 percent at 45.58
euros, underperforming an 0.8 percent fall on Spain's blue chip
($1 = 0.7649 euros)
(Reporting by Tracy Rucinski; Editing by Fiona Ortiz and David