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Teck Resources Ltd. in 4 Charts

By Reuben Gregg Brewer – Sep 19, 2016 at 1:50PM

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One of the key stories at Teck Resources is something of a waiting game. Here's what that means.

Image Source: Teck Resources.

Teck Resources Ltd. (TECK -1.08%) is a diversified miner. It's spending a lot of money to get more diversified, but it's going to take some more time before that happens. Here are four, or so, charts that explain the story.   

1. Today's number is three

Teck Resources is a diversified miner. For example, it has a pretty diverse customer base, geographically speaking. Roughly two-thirds of the company's revenue comes from Asia, but only 22% of that amount is from China -- the rest of Asia accounts for 40% of revenue. So the Asian exposure is far broader than it may at first appear.   

Image source: Teck Resources.

The next graphic, however, is more important to the company's long-term story today. The pie chart shows that steelmaking coal accounted for about 35% of cash operating profit last year, with zinc and copper splitting the rest. So Teck is diversified across three primary commodities.   

Image source: Teck Resources.

2. Where's the money going?

Now, that said, Teck's spending plans for 2016 show a slightly different picture than you might expect.   

Image source: Teck Resources.

To see the company spending money on coal, copper, and zinc is no surprise. But the miner is spending just over $1 billion in energy, more than it's spending on its other three businesses combined. What's that all about? The company is a partner in an oil-sands development known as Fort Hills.

Clearly, Fort Hills is a pretty costly investment, but it will add a fourth major commodity to the company's business. The problem is that it won't come on line until late 2017 at the earliest, with full production expected a year after first oil. So, despite the spending, Teck still has only three commodities in its portfolio right now.   

3. How's it paying?

The problem here is that building a new mine (oil sands are mined, not drilled) costs a lot of money up front before any revenue starts to flow in. Add in the commodity downturn that has hit the company's top and bottom lines, and you're left with debt as the primary avenue for financing. Before the project got the go-ahead in late 2013, debt stood at roughly 29% of Teck's capital structure, totaling around $5 billion. Debt currently stands at around 35% of the capital structure and totals roughly $7.7 billion.   

That's why investors were justifiably getting nervous about Teck's debt profile. And for good reason: At the start of this year, the due dates on its debt looked something like this:   

Image source: Teck Resources.

But Teck has been able to shift that around a bit, and now its maturities look like this:   

Image source: Teck Resources.

Simply put, the company has a lot more breathing room today than it did when the year started. The next big debt maturity was pushed out from 2017 to 2019, meaning that Teck, hopefully, bought the time it needs for the oil business to get up and running -- and, more important, for oil to start contributing meaningfully to the top and bottom lines.

4. It's a long-term play

Now, you might suggest that oil isn't exactly lighting the world on fire today, and you'd be right. But one of Teck's signatures is a long reserve life:   

Image source: Teck Resources.

The company has enough coal to last 100 years. That's followed up by oil at 50 years. So while the oil investment is putting a strain on the company today, it should pay dividends for decades to come. Moreover, it adds an important fourth commodity to the portfolio well before the reserve life of the miner's copper and zinc businesses become a concern. It hasn't been a smooth trip, and there's still more time to go, but Teck appears to be moving in a good direction and doing so in a financially prudent manor.

Watch the oil

There's clearly a lot more than oil going on at Teck. However, the oil investment has been a huge overriding theme, and it's had a major impact on the company's business. So far, because of the expense, that's been a net negative. But Teck appears to have gotten itself to the point where it will be able to see the project through without too much of a problem. When oil starts to flow, the picture will change again, but this time for the better. That's why looking at Teck Resources Ltd. in these four, or so, charts tells a bigger story than you might at first believe.

Reuben Brewer has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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