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PETROBRAS

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Courts in four Brazilian states suspend Petrobras natgas price hikes

12/28/2021 | 05:56pm EDT

(Updates to reflect that four courts have suspended price hikes, adds Petrobras statement)

RIO DE JANEIRO, Dec 28 (Reuters) - Courts in four Brazilian states have suspended a 50% hike in natural gas prices planned by state-run oil company Petrobras, likely kicking off an intense legal battle between the firm, the distributors that buy its fuel and various political authorities.

In a note on Tuesday night, the company, formally Petroleo Brasileiro SA, said courts in four states had issued injunctions at the request of natural gas distributors, while a fifth injunction request had been denied.

The company did not identify the states where the injunctions were granted, but Rio de Janeiro's state legislature said on Twitter that a judge there had halted the price hike. National newspaper O Globo identified the other three states as Sergipe, Ceara and Alagoas, all in the country's northeast.

The decisions are the latest headache for Petrobras, which has pledged to keep fuel prices roughly in line with international levels. That policy helped the company post bumper profits this year, but upset many consumers and politicians at every level of government.

The injunctions apply to liquefied petroleum gas, vehicular natural gas and gas commonly used for industrial purposes, but they are not relevant for other fuels such as gasoline and diesel. The Rio injunction - likely the most relevant economically - will be in place until Brazil's antitrust regulator, Cade, issues an opinion on the matter.

Petrobras said in its note that it will appeal the injunctions.

The company said nearly half of the natural gas it will sell in 2022 will be sold via long-term contracts, the terms of which are being respected. Some clients, however, have opted for short-term contracts. Petrobras imports natural gas from Bolivia and prices have risen "nearly 500%" in 2021, the company added. (Reporting by Ricardo Brito in Brasilia and Gram Slattery in Rio de Janeiro; Editing by Brad Haynes, Dan Grebler and Richard Pullin)


© Reuters 2021
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
LONDON BRENT OIL -0.24% 113.67 Delayed Quote.45.50%
NATURGY ENERGY GROUP, S.A. 0.53% 28.19 Delayed Quote.-2.06%
PETROBRAS 3.93% 36.2 Delayed Quote.27.24%
S&P GSCI NATURAL GAS INDEX 4.29% 431.267 Real-time Quote.136.89%
WTI -0.46% 109.852 Delayed Quote.45.58%
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Financials
Sales 2022 529 B 109 B 109 B
Net income 2022 115 B 23 803 M 23 803 M
Net Debt 2022 227 B 46 930 M 46 930 M
P/E ratio 2022 3,34x
Yield 2022 42,1%
Capitalization 433 B 89 370 M 89 370 M
EV / Sales 2022 1,25x
EV / Sales 2023 1,29x
Nbr of Employees 45 532
Free-Float 64,3%
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Mean consensus BUY
Number of Analysts 11
Last Close Price 31,60 BRL
Average target price 42,18 BRL
Spread / Average Target 33,5%
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Managers and Directors
José Mauro Ferreira Coelho Chief Executive Officer & Director
Rodrigo Araujo Alves Chief Financial Officer
Márcio Andrade Weber Chairman
Marcelo da Silva Carreras Head-IT & Telecommunications
Marcia Tosta Head-Cyber & Information Security
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