Mining giant, BHP Billiton (LON:BLT) has this morning published its full year end results detailing a rise in dividends of 42 per cent, equaling 63 cents a share. The Anglo-Australian mining company also reported a rise in pretax profits to $14.8bn and an increase in revenue of 20 per cent to $43.6bn. Underlying profit moved up 33 per cent to US$8.9 bn. However, annual net profit of $3.71 billion reflected a slump of 37%, relating to one-time costs.
This morning BHP’s share price took a dip, opening at 1680.00p and standing at 1610.00p at 08.15 BST, down 0.26 per cent from yesterday’s session. The shares are underperforming the broader UK market with the FTSE 100 currently standing at 7592.85p up 0.061 per cent.
CEO, Andrew Mackenzie said: “We have announced a record final dividend for shareholders which reflects strong operating performance, solid prices and capital discipline. Our relentless focus on safety and productivity has released additional volumes across our supply chain, with eight per cent volume growth for the year. Our balance sheet is strong, with net debt now at the lower end of our target range, and our investment plans on track across iron ore, copper, coal and petroleum.”
He added that the new year has brought the sale of the Onshore US business for US$10.8 billion and when it is completed the company expects to pass the return the net proceeds to shareholders. He said the group’s simplified portfolio will drive medium term momentum with leadership, technology and culture driving production value and returns.
Analysts on BHP Billiton
Ahead of the news, analysts were expecting positive results from BHP after a recovery in commodity prices exceeded expectations with fourth quarter production figures, according to Proactive Investor. The update also arrives following pushes for more strategic changes at BHP from Elliott Management. Elliot also expressed it wants BHP to cancel its listing and trade only on the Australian Stock Exchange, although this has been rejected by the oil giant. Last week, Liberum continued to view BHP Billiton as a ‘sell’ stating that the re-rating of the shares was ‘unjustified’, according to Citywire.