On Sep 12, 2013, we reiterated our Underperform recommendation
Rio Tinto plc
), based on weak results for the first half of 2013.
Why the Retention?
Rio Tinto reported weak results for the first half of 2013,
with underlying earnings declining 18% year over year to $4.2
billion. Consolidated sales in the first half of 2013 moved down
to $24.5 billion from $25.3 billion recorded a year ago.
Rio Tinto recorded lower average selling prices for many of
its commodities leading to a decline in total revenue and
margins. On an average, iron ore was sold at a price of $137 per
tonne, declining $5 per tonne year over year. Moreover, coking
coal prices declined substantially due to increased supply from
major seaborne producers and weakness in the import demand.
Additionally, total aluminium volume as well as prices were
impacted by a slowdown in Western China. Reduced prices led to a
$1.3 billion year-over-year drop in underlying earnings.
The wall slide at the Kennecott Utah Copper's Bingham Canyon
Mine, in April this year, is expected to reduce Rio Tinto's
copper production in the coming quarters. In view of the
disaster, Rio reduced the mine's expected mined copper production
by 125,000 tonnes to 540,000 tonnes in 2013. Likewise, the
expected production for refined copper has also been reduced by
100,000 tonnes to 205,000 tonnes in 2013. Moreover, Rio Tinto
incurred an additional cost of $0.3 billion in the first half of
2013, related to the write-off of waste stripping costs and
damaged equipment, following the wall slide.
Moreover, Rio Tinto faces execution risks due to resource
nationalism, governmental delays on mining permit issues and tax
policies. Natural disasters like tropical cyclones, severe
monsoon and constant flooding raise concern.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2013 has dropped 7.8% in the
last 60 days to $4.72 per share, reflecting an estimated
year-over-year decline of 6.1%. For 2014, the Zacks Consensus
Estimate declined 10.8% in the past 60 days to $4.81 per share,
reflecting year-over-year growth of 1.9%.
Other Stocks to Consider
Rio Tinto currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other
stocks worth a watch in the industry include
Denison Mines Corp.
US Energy Corp.
Gold Fields Ltd.
). All these stocks carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
DENISON MINES (DNN): Free Stock Analysis
GOLD FIELDS-ADR (GFI): Free Stock Analysis
RIO TINTO-ADR (RIO): Free Stock Analysis
US ENERGY CP-WY (USEG): Free Stock Analysis
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