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Rio Tinto total return love and fingers crossed hope for Wood Group

There was not too much to be excited about for Rio Tinto (RIO) shareholders today on the publication of its first quarter production results. I remain a big fan of the mining name as I noted a couple of months ago, and whilst its core iron ore business had negative growth this was largely expected and should improve as the year progresses. Apart from very firm metals prices versus historically, the other opportunity for the company over the 2020s remains everything else it is doing – or, as it put it in the update, “we made notable progress during the quarter with the commencement of underground mining at Oyu Tolgoi following a comprehensive agreement reached with the Government of Mongolia, completed the acquisition of the Rincon lithium project in Argentina, and signed a framework agreement at the Simandou iron ore project in Guinea”.

EPIC RIO
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Rio Tinto loves dividends but warns big mining sector M&As are madness

Earlier this month HERE, I observed that the ‘Methodist Church threatens to pull stake from Rio Tinto (RIO) over damning sexual harassment report’. I am not sure if its investment committee listened to the mining sector giant’s conference call earlier today but - if it did - it will be pleased with the huge amounts of ESG mentions in the first few minutes of the call. Most investors though will be more excited by the news of ‘record financial results and total dividend of 1,040 US cents per share for 2021, a 79% payout’, equivalent to over a 10% dividend yield. Whilst some of this was a special dividend reflecting remarkable metals sector prices during 2021, how should investors feel now about the FTSE-100 giant with a market cap of just shy of £94 billion?

EPIC RIO
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Investors should not worry like this, Can the home of "Crystal Methodist" really be so sanctimonious about a sex scandal?

It was a busy last week and it is going to be a busy next week too.  Such is this time of the year.  It's all good fun.  Particularly entertaining - no doubt - will be the conference calls after full year updates from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Unilever (ULVR).  Sensibly the former is splitting up its business, whilst the latter really should be considering it a bit more.  It will be enjoyable to listen to and react to (after all I own a bunch of shares in GlaxoSmithKline).  But today I wanted to talk about Rio Tinto (RIO)...

EPIC RIO
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The story for Rio Tinto is so much more than just cultural heritage

Shares in mining giant Rio Tinto (RIO) have performed well for me ever since I realised back in October here that ‘investors should focus on China not cultural heritage’.  Actually if truth is told, it is more than just China because demand for the iron ore, copper and aluminium exporter is centred on a broader changing world.  Or as Rio Tinto put it on a chart in its second quarter numbers a few days ago, ‘we produce materials essentially for a low-carbon future’.  

EPIC RIO
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Rio Tinto - investors should focus on China not cultural heritage

Back in August here, I observed that mining giant Rio Tinto (RIO) had been silly not to square off the various interest groups being a big mining group means you rub up against.  I did also observe that 'the trajectory of the Rio Tinto share price remains centred fully on the demand levels or not from China for iron ore...for all the ESG excitement this situation will induce, that is the cold hard reality'.  

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