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Mexico's Stocks Close Lower as America Movil Slips Further

02/14/2013 | 05:08pm US/Eastern

--IPC index closes down 0.5% at 43,878 points

--America Movil adds to previous session's losses

--Cemex shares rise 2.6% on company's upbeat outlook

By Anthony Harrup

MEXICO CITY--Mexican stocks fell for a fourth consecutive session Thursday, weighed down by further losses in shares of market heavyweight America Movil (AMX, AMX.MX), which had disappointing fourth-quarter earnings earlier in the week.

The IPC index of leading issues closed down 0.5% at 43,878 points on heavy volume of 432.9 million shares worth 14.31 billion pesos ($1.13 billion).

After a 10% slump the previous session, America Movil shares slipped a further 1.3% to close at MXN13.99, their lowest level since August 2011.

The company, controlled by billionaire Carlos Slim, reported a surprise drop in net profit for the fourth quarter as a result of a big financial charge, including exchange losses from the stronger euro. Earnings before taxes, depreciation and amortization fell 8% in the quarter as margins contracted as a result of falling voice traffic and an increase in mobile data usage, which requires greater company subsidies on handsets.

UBS said in a report that it is reviewing its buy recommendation for the shares. "These results, along with doubts as to how its FCF [free cash flow] will be deployed as well as regulatory issues, raise serious concerns," UBS said.

Cement company Cemex (CX, CEMEX.MX) CPO shares were among the top gainers, closing 2.6% higher at MXN13.62.

Cemex Chief Executive Lorenzo Zambrano said at an investor event that the company expects to increase its Ebitda to $4.7 billion in 2016 from $2.6 billion in 2012. Juan Pablo San Agustin, Cemex's executive vice president of planning and business development, said 80% of the incremental Ebitda is expected to come from the Americas, particularly the U.S.

Brewer Modelo (GPMCY, GMODELO.MX) C shares rose 4.4% to MXN113.58 after Constellation Brands and Anheuser-Busch InBev agreed to revised terms for AB InBev's divestiture of Modelo's U.S. assets, as AB Inbev seeks U.S. antitrust approval to buy the half of Modelo it doesn't already own.

"Constellation fully captures the power of Corona brand in the US; and Modelo gets really close to finalizing the deal, without giving up anything on this revised agreement," Credit Suisse analysts said in a note.

The Mexican peso closed little changed against the U.S. dollar, quoted in Mexico City at MXN12.6990, according to Infosel, compared with MXN12.6920 at the close Wednesday.

The peso recovered from some early weakness following unfavorable economic data in the euro zone, Banco Base said in a report.

Write to Anthony Harrup at anthony.harrup@dowjones.com

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