Shares in BHP Billiton (LON:BLT) have advanced in London this morning, ahead of the company’s full-year results later today when the mining giant is expected to hike its payout to shareholders. The group’s results will come as the Anglo-Australian miner faces pressure by activist investor Elliott Management which has called for an overhaul of the business.
As of 09:46 BST, BHP Billiton’s share price had added 0.27 percent to 1,354.50p, outperforming the broader London market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index having slipped into the red and currently standing 0.27 percent lower at 7,304.51 points. The group’s shares have added more than 28 percent to their value over the past year, and are up by some three percent in the year-to-date.
London- and Sydney-listed BHP Billiton is scheduled to post its full-year results tonight in Australia and The Telegraph reports that the mining giant is poised to unveil a bumper $4 billion (£3.1 billion) dividend, or $0.84 (65p) per share.
The payout to shareholders would be the group’s largest since 2015, marking BHP’s recovery following a two-year slump in commodity prices. The miner’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation meanwhile are expected to come in at about $20 billion (£15.5 billion), up from $12 billion (£9.3 billion) a year ago.
BHP’s results will come after activist investor Elliott Management recently disclosed that it now held five percent in BHP Billiton’s London-listed shares. The New York-based investor has urged the company to overhaul its business, calling for the end of the miner’s dual structure, and pushing for a demerger of the group’s US petroleum business.
The full-year update will also come as BHP’s new chairman Ken MacKenzie prepares to take over on September 1.
“BHP is positioned to continue the upward journey from its recent tight corner – a once in a decade event – under the new chairman, who should be armed with reams of ‘post-listening tour’ ideas and suggestions, and calling on the lessons learnt from past restructuring episodes,” Peter O’Conner, an Australia-based analyst at broker Shaw & Partners, commented, as quoted by The Telegraph.