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Shares of Latin America's biggest carrier, LATAM Airlines , dropped 3.88 percent on the Santiago Stock Exchange Wednesday afternoon, a day after the company posted a surprise net loss of $41 million for the first quarter.
Improved operating results in the quarter were offset by fleet restructuring costs, a weak Brazilian real and poor performance in the airline's cargo business.
The shares fell to 8,200 Chilean pesos, while Santiago's blue-chip IPSA stock index was virtually flat.
U.S.-listed shares of the airline, which was formed by the tie-up in 2012 of Chile's LAN and Brazil's TAM, were down 4.8 percent to $14.80.
"Although we believe in the company's long-term rationalization strategy, recognize record load factors, and highlight the 120 basis points operating income growth, excluding non-recurring costs, first-quarter results are negative, in our opinion, taking U.S. dollar yield contraction and yet another losing quarter into account," BICE Inversiones said in a note to clients.
"For this reason, and because results were clearly below market expectations, we do not discard share pressure in the short term and we reiterate our hold recommendation on LATAM Airlines," the Santiago-based brokerage said.
Following the earnings report, Morgan Stanley cut its target price on LATAM Airlines to $14.30 and kept its underweight rating on the company
$1 = 551.1650 Chilean Pesos