Petrobras Posts Record Loss On Writedowns, Slumping Oil Prices


NEW YORK/SAO PAULO, March 21 (Reuters) - Brazil's state-controlled oil company Petróleo Brasileiro SA posted a record loss in the fourth quarter after booking a large writedown for oil fields and other assets as oil prices slumped.

Petrobras, as the company at the epicenter of Brazil's massive corruption scandal is commonly known, had a consolidated net loss of 36.9 billion reais ($10.2 billion) in the quarter, according to a securities filing.

The bigger-than-expected shortfall was 48 percent larger than the 26.6 billion-real loss a year earlier, the previous record.

The largest fourth-quarter loss expected in a Reuters survey of analysts was for a 9.7 billion reais.

Fourth-quarter writedowns were 46.4 billion reais, the filing said. A year earlier, writedowns were also the cause of Petrobras losses, although they were largely related to the giant price-fixing and bribery scandal that has roiled the company.

Net sales, or sales minus sales taxes, totaled 85.1 billion reais in the quarter and adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or EBITDA, were 17.1 billion reais.

The fourth quarter result pushed the company's full-year 2015 result to a 34.8 billion-real loss.

The losses were driven by a 42 percent drop in the price of crude oil.

Petrobras common shares fell 5.8 percent in after-hours electronic trading in New York.

($1 = 3.6119 Brazilian reais)

(Reporting by Jeb Blount in New York, and Guillermo Parra-Bernal Sao Paulo; Editing by Tom Brown)


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