Rio Tinto earnings stave off BHP

Stephen Beard Aug 26, 2008
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Rio Tinto earnings stave off BHP

Stephen Beard Aug 26, 2008
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Stacey Vanek-Smith: Commodities have been on a wild upswing this year. Bad news for most of us, good news for the companies that sell them. Mining giant Rio Tinto announced earnings more than doubled for the first half of this year. Rio’s hoping that will help it fight off a hostile takeover bid from rival BHP Billiton. From London, Stephen Beard reports.


Stephen Beard: There’s no surprise that Rio is doing well. Most of the minerals and metals that it mines like, iron ore and copper, have shot up in price.

But the scale of Rio’s success is dazzling. The company exceeded every analyst prediction. And its results outshone those of its rival, BHP, which also had a very strong first half. Rio rejected BHP’s $140 billion plus takeover bid earlier this year. Today’s results may strengthen the case against merging.

David Hart, mining analyst with research group Fat Prophets:

David Hart: Both companies are doing very well on their own, and as a result staying independent doesn’t necessarily mean a step backwards.

Rio said today that it remained confident about future growth and that the credit crunch is not affecting demand for commodities.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

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