March 29, 2019 / 12:00 AM / 7 months ago

Brazil's JBS swings to profit in quarter four but misses estimates

FILE PHOTO: Employees are seen at the Brazilian meatpacker JBS SA in the city of Lapa, Parana state, Brazil, March 21, 2017. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazil’s JBS SA posted fourth-quarter results that missed analysts’ estimates due to challenges at its U.S. chicken and pork businesses, according to a securities filing on Thursday.

The meat company, which has large operations in the United States aside from Brazil and Australia, reported a net profit of 563.2 million reais ($144.43 million), reversing a 451.7 million reais loss in the 2017 fourth quarter. This was far below the Refinitiv IBES consensus estimate of a 1.767 billion real gain.

A sharp drop in financial expenses helped prop up results, the company said.

JBS said the price of pork in the United States, and more significantly the performance of its Pilgrim’s Pride Co division, affected its operating performance and margins.

For the quarter, earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, a measure of operating income known as EBITDA, fell by 39.5 percent at JBS’s U.S. pork division and by 37.1 percent at Pilgrim’s Pride, which had already reported results.

Across divisions, JBS posted strong EBITDA of 3.4 billion reais, a 6.1 percent rise from the year-ago quarter, partially due to strength in its beef business in Brazil and the United States.

Including its entire protein portfolio and global sales, JBS’s consolidated net revenue rose almost 11 percent to 47.3 billion reais in the quarter and reached 181.7 billion reais in the year.

For 2018, JBS posted a net profit of 25.2 million reais after a one-off tax charge. Excluding the charge, JBS had a net gain of 1.6 billion real, the filing showed.

Reporting by Ana Mano; Editing by Chris Reese and Richard Chang

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