BHP Group’s first-half earnings surged 29% on higher iron ore prices, allowing the company’s new top executive to extend a run of bumper returns to investors, even as the impact of the coronavirus outbreak stokes short-term uncertainty.
The world’s top miner boosted its interim dividend payment 18%, though acknowledged that move reflected “caution due to near term market volatility driven by the 2019 coronavirus disease outbreak, trade policy and geopolitics.” BHP said Tuesday it will revise down expectations for economic and commodity demand growth, if the virus isn’t “demonstrably well contained” this quarter.
- New Chief Executive Officer Mike Henry, a company veteran promoted to the role last month, set out some tentative details of his plans for the company, saying he wants BHP to be “safer, lower cost, more reliable and more productive — with our portfolio and capabilities fit for the future.”
- Investors will be looking for more specifics as Henry hosts teleconferences Tuesday, and holds meetings over the coming weeks.
- Underlying earnings at BHP’s continuing operations jumped to $5.2 billion from $4.03 billion a year earlier, BHP said. That was in line with a $5.1 billion median estimate among five analyst forecasts compiled by Bloomberg.
- BHP’s Sydney-traded shares have advanced about 4% in the past year, lagging rivals including Rio Tinto Group and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd.
- For more details on the earnings data, click here.
- Read the statement here.
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