Brazil’s CSN posts lower profit, beats estimates

* Q4 net income falls 81 percent, beats estimates

* Q4 year-ago profit included Namisa unit stake sale

* Cost restraint, financial transactions helped results

SAO PAULO, Feb 26 (BestGrowthStock) – CSN (CSNA3.SA: ), Brazil’s
third-largest steelmaker, said on Friday fourth-quarter profit (Read more your timing to make a profit.)
fell, but the drop was less than analysts had expected because
of foreign exchange gains and cost cuts.

Net income sank to 745.4 million reais ($407.1 million)
from 3.94 billion reais a year earlier when the sale of a stake
in CSN’s Namisa unit added large gains to profits, the company
said in a securities filing.

Analysts had estimated profit at CSN (SID.N: ) to drop to 635
million reais on average.

Spending restrictions and rising demand at home helped
Brazil’s two other major steelmakers, Gerdau (GGBR4.SA: ) and
Usiminas (USIM5.SA: ), beat fourth-quarter profit (Read more your timing to make a profit.) estimates
earlier on Thursday, sending their shares up for the first time
in almost a week.

CSN’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and
amortization (EBITDA), fell to 1.2 billion reais in the
quarter, compared with 1.47 billion reais a year earlier.
Analysts had expected EBITDA of 1.1 billion reais.

EBITDA margin fell to 39.4 percent from 43.4 percent a year
earlier, but was up from 33.2 percent in the third quarter,
underscoring analysts’ expectations for a rebound in profits in
2010. The EBITDA margin was higher than the 37 percent estimate
in the Reuters poll.

CSN posted 301 million reais in net financial expenses in
the quarter, compared with 1.39 billion reais a year earlier.
It booked 170.1 million reais in foreign exchange and
derivatives gains in the quarter, helping to reverse losses of
1.19 billion reais a year earlier.
($1=1.831 reais)

Investing Analysis

(Reporting by Elzio Barreto and Guillermo Parra-Bernal.
Editing by Robert MacMillan)

Brazil’s CSN posts lower profit, beats estimates