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SAO PAULO, April 30 (Reuters) - Brazil's Embraer SA , the world's third-largest commercial planemaker, posted a quarterly net loss on Thursday as business jet sales weakened, defense programs stalled and a stronger U.S. dollar lifted tax expenses.
Embraer lost a net $62 million attributable to shareholders, or about $0.3370 a share, according to a statement. It was the second quarterly loss in the past three quarters.
The result missed an average forecast for a net profit of $44 million in a Reuters survey of five analysts, few of whom considered the volatile tax bill in their models. Without the deferred tax impact of the currency swing, Embraer said it would have posted a net profit of $48 million.
A stronger dollar is good news in the long run for Embraer, Brazil's biggest industrial exporter, which has around 90 percent of its revenue pegged to the greenback, while about a quarter of costs are denominated in Brazilian reais.
But Brazil's weaker currency created short-term headwinds by driving up its tax obligations on dollar-denominated assets and diminishing the contribution of domestic defense contracts.
Brazil's armed forces have also delayed payment on several programs due to a government austerity push aimed at shoring up the federal budget. Embraer's defense revenue in the first quarter fell 46 percent to about a fifth of total sales.
Business jet sales also slipped 37 percent in the quarter, compensated by surging deliveries to airlines, which carry a fatter gross margin than its executive jet division.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, a gauge of operating profit known as EBITDA, slipped 1 percent to $149 million, slightly above an average forecast of $140 million.
Embraer initially reported earnings in Brazilian reais.
Including a $3 million return for noncontrolling interests, the company reported a first-quarter net loss of $59 million. (Reporting by Brad Haynes; Additional reporting by Silvio Cascione and Priscila Jordao Editing by W Simon)