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RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb 13 (Reuters) - Profit at Brazil's BM&FBovespa SA, South America's largest financial exchange, fell more than expected in the fourth quarter on lower revenue from stock, derivatives and currency trading and higher taxes, the company said on Thursday.
Net income fell 17 percent in the quarter to 182.1 million reais ($75.7 million) from 217.1 million reais a year earlier, according to a securities filing. The result was 20 percent below the 227-million-real profit estimate of seven analysts surveyed by Reuters.
Profit was 36 percent lower than in the third quarter, about double the decline analysts expected.
On Thursday the company also said it plans to distribute 145.7 million reais, or 80 percent, of fourth-quarter profit as dividends, the statement said. On Thursday, the board also approved a plan to repurchase as many as 100 million shares of company stock by the end of 2014.
Net revenue or gross sales minus sales and social taxes, fell 4.7 percent to 475.6 million reais compared with a year earlier and was 11 percent below the third quarter.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), as measured by operating profit, fell 8.6 percent to 222.1 million reais.
BM&FBovespa doesn't issue an separate EBITDA number, so investors and analysts use operating profit as an EBITDA proxy. Both EBITDA and operating profit measure the ability of the company to generate cash from operations.
$1 = 2.4045 Brazilian reais Reporting by Jeb Blount; Editing by David Gregorio