Shares of mining giant Rio Tinto plc (ADR) (NYSE:RIO) added almost 3% to their nearly 35% gains over the past year as CEO Jean-Sébastien Jacques placed the company significantly ahead of its peers, citing strong capital returns even during a commodity downturn.
RIO contributed 50% of the total cash returns delivered by the FTSE All Share Mining Index in 2016, returning $2.7 billion to shareholders when other miners were struggling to remain solvent, said Jacques at a global metals and mining conference in Barcelona this Tuesday.
Highlights of the presentation:
- RIO remains focused on 4Ps: Portfolio, Performance, People and Partners and is in a comfortable position to match last year’s return even if iron ore falls to $42 FOB as it realized a $74 price so far this year compared to last year’s average of $53.60.
- RIO is targeting to add $5 billion of incremental cash free cash flow over the next five years and hit $1.5 billion free cash flow on an annual basis by 2021 by increasing productivity and spending on its high quality growth projects, expecting Silvergrass, Amrun, and OT to deliver an IRR of more than 20%.
NYSE-RIO Historical Dividend Yield by Simply Wall StRIO currently pays a dividend of 4.5% with an acceptable payout ratio of 59%. Unlike most other miners, the company had to hardly worry about an overstretched balance sheet, which it has further improved over the past year to achieve a debt-to-equity ratio of 40%.
While the recent correction in iron ore prices pressured mining stocks along with RIO shares, analysts present a highly upbeat earnings and operating cash flow outlook of the company, in line with the strong outlook presented by the management.