Get 40% Off
⚠ Earnings Alert! Which stocks are poised to surge?
See the stocks on our ProPicks radar. These strategies gained 19.7% year-to-date.
Unlock full list

BHP half-year profit beats expectations, inflation impact recedes

Published 2024-02-19, 04:39 p/m
Updated 2024-02-19, 08:50 p/m
© Reuters. A small toy figure and mineral imitation are seen in front of the BHP logo in this illustration taken November 19, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo/File Photo

By Sameer Manekar and Melanie Burton

(Reuters) -BHP Group on Tuesday logged first-half underlying profit that slightly beat analyst expectations, buoyed by strong iron ore prices, and said inflationary impacts were receding.

The world's largest listed miner was cautiously optimistic on a demand recovery in the developed world in the next 12 months but said it was not yet clear how effective stimulus policies have been in China, its biggest customer.

It was more bullish on India, which it said "has considerable positive momentum behind it".

BHP said it expects a "more balanced global economy and evidence that the worst of the general inflationary wave is behind us will have a positive impact on our industry in calendar year 2024."

For the first-half, BHP's strong revenue growth of 6% was underpinned by higher iron ore and copper prices and contributions from new projects, but was partially offset by lower energy coal prices.

BHP said underlying profit attributable to shareholders was $6.60 billion for the six months ended Dec. 31, unchanged from the previous year, but topping an LSEG estimate of $6.42 billion.

It declared an interim dividend of $0.72 per share, compared with $0.90 per share a year earlier. That beat Citi's expectation of $0.68, and a Visible Alpha consensus of $0.70.

"(The) market should take a modestly higher dividend than expected as a reflection of BHP’s improving confidence regarding (the) outlook on commodity demand/prices," analysts at Citi wrote.

Shares in BHP edged down 0.3% to A$45.91 amid a sour tone in resources stocks.

NICKEL

BHP, which announced a $2.5 billion impairment charge for its Western Australia Nickel business last week, said it sees the nickel industry facing "a difficult multi-year run," amid a flood of new supply coming out of Indonesia.

"Our base case is that the market may rebalance by the late 2020s," BHP said.

BHP operates a nickel smelter and a refinery in Western Australia, employing 3,000 people, and has warned that the slump in nickel prices could slow development of its West Musgrave copper nickel project.

"You should be expecting that to be a decision in months, not years," said Henry. "Clearly we weren’t expecting the nickel market to plunge as quickly and as significantly as it has," he told analysts at a results briefing.

While it welcomed Australia's moves to shore up the nickel sector though a production tax credit, BHP said that should not take the focus of ensuring "the right policy settings are in place to drive long term competitive positioning of Australia as a nation."

The company wants the government to improve industrial relations policies, fiscal settings and permitting requirements, CEO Mike Henry said, but added that might not be enough for miners that have already put their operations into care and maintenance.

© Reuters. A small toy figure and mineral imitation are seen in front of the BHP logo in this illustration taken November 19, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo/File Photo

"Given just how significant the challenges in the nickel market are today, that may not be enough to alter course."

($1 = $1.0000)

Latest comments

Risk Disclosure: Trading in financial instruments and/or cryptocurrencies involves high risks including the risk of losing some, or all, of your investment amount, and may not be suitable for all investors. Prices of cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile and may be affected by external factors such as financial, regulatory or political events. Trading on margin increases the financial risks.
Before deciding to trade in financial instrument or cryptocurrencies you should be fully informed of the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite, and seek professional advice where needed.
Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. The data and prices on the website are not necessarily provided by any market or exchange, but may be provided by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual price at any given market, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Fusion Media and any provider of the data contained in this website will not accept liability for any loss or damage as a result of your trading, or your reliance on the information contained within this website.
It is prohibited to use, store, reproduce, display, modify, transmit or distribute the data contained in this website without the explicit prior written permission of Fusion Media and/or the data provider. All intellectual property rights are reserved by the providers and/or the exchange providing the data contained in this website.
Fusion Media may be compensated by the advertisers that appear on the website, based on your interaction with the advertisements or advertisers.
© 2007-2024 - Fusion Media Limited. All Rights Reserved.