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Brazil Petrobras First-Quarter Profit Slides, but Beats Estimates

Declining crude-oil production undercut first-quarter net profits at Brazilian state-run energy giant Petroleo Brasileiro SA (PBR, PETR4.BR, PETR4.BR), but recent increases to domestic fuel prices and a shift to greater imports of crude oil instead of gasoline and diesel helped the company beat analysts forecasts.Petrobras, as the oil company is also known, said late Friday that net profit fell 17% year-on-year in the first quarter to 7.69 billion Brazilian reais ($3.85 billion), down from BRL9.21 billion in the year-before period. Despite the decline, the results beat the BRL6.93 billion median forecast of 11 analysts."The results came in well above what we expected," said Oswaldo Alcantara Telles Filho, an analyst at Sao Paulo's Espirito Santo Investment Bank. Increases to domestic fuel prices boosted gross margins, while the company also registered a bigger-than-expected foreign-exchange gain, Mr. Telles said. The real's 1.5% appreciation against the U.S. dollar resulted in a BRL1.3...

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