Anglo American Lifts Dividend by 15%

LONDON -- Shares of Anglo American  (LSE: AAL  ) (NASDAQOTH: AAUKY  ) advanced 34 pence, or 2%, to 2,047 pence during early London trading this morning after the miner lifted its annual dividend by 15%.

Anglo declared a total payout of $0.85 per share for 2012 compared to $0.74 per share for 2011. The dividend lift accompanied full-year results that showed revenues falling $4 billion to $33 billion and underlying earnings sliding more than $3 billion to $2.8 billion. I

t claimed its results were caused by lower commodity prices in weak global economic conditions. Its figures were also blighted by write-offs totaling more than $4 billion, of which the majority related to the group's troubled Minas-Rio iron ore project in Brazil. The miner added that its net debt had advanced from $1.4 billion to $8.6 billion during 2012 following a $5 billion deal to buy 40% of the De Beers diamond company.

Furthermore, the miner stated it was "regrettable" that 13 of its employees had been killed last year through work-related incidents.

Cynthia Carroll, Anglo's chief executive, said this morning:

Looking ahead, recent months have brought a degree of renewed optimism to the economic prospects. While European and Japanese economic activity remains weak, recent policy changes ought to stimulate growth in 2013.

We expect robust growth in the major emerging economies. Rising living standards and an expanding middle class should support demand for our products across our diversified mix.

Based on today's figures, Anglo's shares trade on a P/E of 14 and offer a 2.7% yield.

Of course, whether those ratings, today's results, and the general outlook for miners and commodities all combine to make Anglo a buy remains your decision. However, if you already own shares and are looking to diversify, this free special report covers a tip-top growth opportunity with operations far removed from the mining sector.

Indeed, the blue chip in question has lifted its earnings per share by 44% since 2009, owns subsidiaries that might carry considerable hidden value, and has just been declared "The Motley Fool's Top Growth Stock For 2013."

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