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BHP Billiton Lags FY13 Earnings, Revs

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BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP - Free Report) reported its financial results for fiscal 2013, ended Jun 30, 2013. Earnings per American Depositary Share (ADS) stood at $4.07, down 29.4% from $5.77 per ADS a year-ago. Lower revenues and higher taxes hurt earnings in the fiscal.

Earnings per ADS also missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $4.67 by 12.8%.

Revenues: Revenues for fiscal 2013 dropped 8.7% year over year to $66.0 billion from $72.2 billion as a result of a challenging global industry as well as lower prices of commodities.

Revenues also missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $68.0 billion by 2.9%.

Underlying earnings before interests and taxes (EBIT) were recorded at $21.1 billion, down 22.4% year over year, as a result of lower commodity prices and inflation.

Production Status: The company saw an improvement in the production of copper, zinc, iron ore, coal, total petroleum products, aluminum and manganese alloy, to name a few, in fiscal 2013. However, the production of silver, nickel and diamonds decreased year over year, over the same period.

BHP Billiton’s Western Australia Iron Ore (WAIO) production reached 187 million tonnes for fiscal 2013.

Balance Sheet: Cash and cash equivalents, at the end of the period, were recorded at $6.1 billion, up from $5.1 billion in the half year ended Dec 31, 2012. Net debt, comprising interest-bearing liabilities, was $29.9 billion, down from $30.4 billion as of Dec 31, 2012.

Cash Flow: Net operating cash flow decreased 16.9% to $27.6 billion year over year. Capital and exploration expenditure totaled $22.9 billion for fiscal 2013, compared with $20.8 billion in fiscal 2012.

BHP Billiton announced a final dividend of 59 cents per share to be paid on Sep 25, 2013, to shareholders of record as on Sep 6, 2013.

Moreover, in line with the company’s strategy to trim its portfolio, BHP divested around $6.5 billion worth of assets in the year, which are either complete or awaiting closures.

Outlook: As on the closure of fiscal 2013, BHP had roughly 18 projects in progress, 70% of which are expected to start production by the end of calendar year 2014. BHP expects the economy to start reviving in the coming quarters, mainly China, thereby, boosting demand and prices. The production at WAIO is expected to increase further to 207 million tonnes by fiscal 2014.

Other Stocks to Consider

Avalon Rare Metals Inc. announced fiscal third-quarter 2013 operating loss of 1 cent per share, compared with the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 3 cents.

Denison Mines Corp. announced second-quarter 2013 operating loss of 1 cent per share, compared with the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 2 cents.

AMCOL International Corporation announced second-quarter 2013 operating earnings of 57 cents per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 56 cents by 1.8%.

BHP Billiton currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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