Why is the Rio Tinto share price underperforming today?

a man wearing a hard hat stands in front of heavy mining machinery with a serious look on his face.

a man wearing a hard hat stands in front of heavy mining machinery with a serious look on his face.

The Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) share price is underperforming on Thursday morning.

At the time of writing, the mining giant’s shares are up a fraction to $97.00.

As a comparison, the S&P/ASX 200 Resources index is up almost 1.5% in early trade.

Why is the Rio Tinto share price underperforming?

The Rio Tinto share price is underperforming this morning after the miner’s half-year results fell short of expectations.

After the market close on Wednesday, the mining giant released its results and revealed a sharper than expected decline in earnings over the prior corresponding period.

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.

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

Dividend missed by a mile

But perhaps the biggest drag has been the huge miss on its interim dividend. Although Rio Tinto declared its second largest interim dividend ever at US$2.76 per share, this was still well short of the market’s expectations.

The market was forecasting a fully franked interim dividend of US$3.30 per share and a special dividend of 67 US cents. Not only did its ordinary dividend disappoint, but there was no special dividend on this occasion.

Finally, comments from the company’s chief executive, Jakob Stausholm, may have also spooked investors a touch and could be weighing on the Rio Tinto share price.

The chief executive warned that the “market environment has become more challenging at the end of the period.”

The post Why is the Rio Tinto share price underperforming today? appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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