October 20, 2015 / 2:25 PM / 2 years ago

America Movil shares sink after first loss in nearly 14 years

(Updates with share price fall, earnings report data)

By Christine Murray and Tomás Sarmiento

MEXICO CITY, Oct 20 (Reuters) - Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim’s America Movil fell sharply in early Tuesday trading after the global telecommunications company reported its first quarterly loss in almost 14 years.

Grappling with tougher regulation at home and recession in Brazil, America Movil on Monday posted a surprise 2.884 billion peso ($170 million) loss in the third quarter, as a sharp depreciation in Latin American currencies battered the region’s biggest pay TV and wireless company.

Analysts had forecast a 9.493 billion peso profit in a Reuters poll.

Shares in America Movil fell nearly 3.5 percent in early trading on Tuesday, before paring losses to trade around 2 percent lower at 14.29 pesos a share.

America Movil executives are set to brief analysts in a conference call on Tuesday morning.

Controlled by the family of Slim, the wealthiest man in Latin America and one of the world’s richest, the company last posted a loss in the fourth quarter of 2001, the year it began publishing its financial results.

At the time, America Movil was Slim’s mobile unit, but it swallowed the rest of his phone operations and became the flagship of his global telecoms empire.

Although America Movil’s revenue rose, its foreign exchange loss widened to 45 billion pesos in the July-September period from 9 billion pesos a year earlier.

In Mexico, its biggest market, America Movil has around 70 percent of the mobile business and more than 60 percent of fixed-line connections. A large portion of the company’s revenue is in pesos and Brazilian reais, but many of its expenses are in dollars.

In Mexico its profit margin has fallen every quarter since a sweeping telecoms reform was completed last year that brought tougher regulation. (Additional reporting by Alexandra Alper; Editing by Simon Gardner and W Simon)

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