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Research Tree provides access to ongoing research coverage, media content and regulatory news on BHP BILLITON PLC. We currently have 46 research reports from 5 professional analysts.

Market Cap
52 Week
Date Source Announcement
27Mar17 07:29 RNS Notification of PDMR shareholdings
21Mar17 07:00 RNS Final Results of BHP Billiton Bond Repurchase Plan
10Mar17 16:33 RNS Notice of Dividend Currency Exchange Rates
08Mar17 07:00 RNS BHP Billiton Prices Maximum Tender Offers
07Mar17 07:00 RNS BHP Billiton Announces Early Cash Tender Results
03Mar17 15:08 RNS Notice of Dividend Currency Exchange Rate SA Rand
28Feb17 07:00 RNS BHP Billiton Concludes Any and All Offer
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Despite a staggeringly good H1 performance, downside risks thwart overall attractiveness

  • 03 Mar 17

BHP reported exceptionally strong H1 FY17 results on the back of (material) price improvements across its commodity portfolio. Coal and iron ore – the key recovery drivers H1 sales were $18.8bn (+20% yoy; +24% hoh), largely driven by coal ($3.9bn; +68% yoy; +80% hoh) and iron ore ($6.9bn; +30% yoy; +34% hoh). Price improvements clearly dwarfed the impact of weak volumes (except for iron ore, where H1 output was up 4% yoy and hoh). The recovery in profitability was astounding, with reported underlying EBIT (adjusted measure cannot be calculated due to disclosure limitations in the half-year results) of $6bn (+346% yoy; +181% hoh). Overall, H1 reported an operating margin (32%) not only materially exceeding the FY16 level (11%), but was also ahead of 27% achieved in FY15 (when the overall commodity price environment was relatively better). Similar to the top-line trend, the biggest improvement came from BHP’s coal business, with a reported profit of $1.6bn vs. losses of $342m and $7m in H1 FY16 and H2 FY16, respectively, followed by iron ore ($3.2bn; +68% yoy; +78% hoh). As a result, the group achieved a half-yearly attributable net profit of $3.2bn vs. a loss of $5.7bn (marred by hefty oil asset impairments) and $716m in H1 FY16 and H2 FY16, respectively. Moderating debt woes (for now) helped fuel generous dividends Despite $1.1bn of working capital use, reported OCFs were healthy (+46% yoy; +43% hoh) at $7.7bn, while capex remained conservative ($2.3bn; -42% yoy; -23% hoh). Overall net debt was down (20% vs. FY16-end) to $22bn, even after the H1 debt repayments (net of issuances) of only $1bn. This was facilitated by a fair value adjustment (related to interest rates and forex) benefit of $2bn. Citing the overall improvements, an interim dividend of US$0.40 per share was announced vs. a minimum payout of US$0.30. Still ambitious oil pursuits Management guides for FY17 capex of $5.6bn, which should increase further to $6.3bn in FY18. The spending plan includes the approved $2.2bn Mad Dog Phase 2 project (in the Gulf of Mexico) and the still high exploration expenditure of $1bn in FY17 (vs. $765m and $816m in FY16 and FY15, respectively), of which $820m would be incurred in petroleum. The FY17 copper guidance is being reviewed in the context of a labour strike at Escondida.