Dow Jones Newswires: Telefonica swings to loss in fourth quarter

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Telefonica SA said Thursday that it swung to a net loss in the fourth quarter of 2019 as the company’s pullout from some Latin American markets and the sale of 10 data centers took their toll.

The Spanish telecommunications company TEF, -0.28% TEF, +0.14%  posted a net loss for the quarter of 202 million euros ($218.1 million) compared with a profit of EUR610 million the previous fourth quarter.

Analysts polled by FactSet were expecting net profit to come in at roughly EUR576 million.

Telefonica said revenue for the period declined to EUR12.4 billion from EUR12.92 billion, against a projected EUR12.38 billion, according to FactSet.

Operating income before depreciation and amortization rose to EUR3.67 billion from EUR3.54 billion the previous fourth quarter, while operating profit fell to EUR914 million from EUR1.07 billion for the same period.

Telefonica said it would pay a dividend of EUR0.40 per share, the same as the previous year.

The company said it expects stable growth in the main metrics for 2020.

“The operational spinoff of [Latin American unit] Hispam will open opportunities to crystallize value and finally, we are increasing agility and efficiency across all units,” Chief Executive Jose Maria Alvarez-Pallete said.

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