Rio Tinto share price on watch after half-year earnings miss

Two miners standing together with a smile on their faces.

Two miners standing together with a smile on their faces.

The Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) share price will be one to watch on Thursday.

This follows the release of the mining giant’s half-year results after the market close today.

Rio Tinto share price on watch following earnings miss

  • Revenue down 10% to US29,775 million
  • Underlying EBITDA down 26% to US$15,597 million
  • Free cash flow down 30% to US$7,146 million
  • Dividend of 276 US cents per share
  • No special dividend

What happened during the half?

For the six months ended 30 June, Rio Tinto reported a 10% decline in revenue to US$29,775 million and a 26% reduction in underlying EBITDA to US$15,597 million.

This was driven by a softer iron ore price, which led to the company’s iron ore EBITDA falling 35% to US$10,395 million for the half. This was partially offset by a 49% lift in aluminium EBITDA to US$2,866 million.

How does this compare to expectations?

Unfortunately for the Rio Tinto share price, this result appears to have fallen a touch short of expectations.

For example, a recent note out of Goldman Sachs reveals that its analysts were expecting revenue of US$29,655 million and underlying EBITDA of US$15,671 million.

Furthermore, the market consensus estimate was for revenue of US$30,785 million and underlying EBITDA of US$16,813 million.

Also falling short of expectations was its dividend of 276 US cents per share. Not only did this come in short of estimates, but there was no special dividend this time around.

Goldman was pencilling in total dividends of US$3.68 per share, whereas the consensus estimate was for US$3.97 per share. Both estimates included special dividends of 50 US cents and 67 US cents, respectively.

Though, it is worth highlighting that this was the second largest interim dividend in the company’s history.

Management commentary

Rio Tinto’s chief executive, Jakob Stausholm, commented:

We remain focused on delivering on our long-term strategy, with a steady improvement in operating performance and some notable advances in our growth agenda. We continue to strengthen our partnership with the Mongolian government following commencement of underground mining at Oyu Tolgoi, delivered first iron ore from the Gudai-Darri mine and approved early works funding at the Rincon lithium project.

Stausholm spoke cautiously about the second half. He notes that the “market environment has become more challenging at the end of the period.”

Nevertheless, the chief executive remains optimistic on the longer term.

We are committed to making lasting, long-term change to our culture, including to our workplace culture, and to building better relationships with Indigenous peoples, communities and partners. The progress we are making will ensure we continue to deliver attractive returns to shareholders, invest in sustaining and growing our portfolio, and make a broader contribution to society in the drive to netzero carbon emissions.

The post Rio Tinto share price on watch after half-year earnings miss appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia.

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