21 October 2009

La Polar Rises Most in Ipsa on Prospect for Recovery

By Nathan Gill
Oct. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Empresas La Polar SA had the biggest gain in Chile’s Ipsa Index after analysts said the fourth-largest retailer by market value will benefit from a recovery in spending.

Santiago-based La Polar climbed 4 percent to 2,870 pesos, its highest price since January 2008. The shares have more than doubled this year.

La Polar may rise to 3,400 pesos in 12 months, Inversiones Security analyst Paulina Rojas wrote in a note yesterday, compared with a previous estimate of 2,400 pesos. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization probably will return to last year’s levels as spending rebounds next year and may grow an average 8 percent in the next decade, she wrote.

“La Polar has ample potential for growth,” Rojas wrote, reiterating a “buy” rating. “We see the reactivation of their expansion plan as positive and opportune.”

The company plans to open six new stores in Chile by 2012 and expand into Colombia by the end of next year, Rojas wrote.

Chile’s central bank reaffirmed its forecast that the South American country’s economy will rebound in the second half of this year, bank President Jose De Gregorio said yesterday. Demand should recover this year and the labor market shows stability, he said.