There's something pleasurable about describing mining giant Rio Tinto's
But we won't, and so we should turn to the quality of the company's earnings. For instance, it doesn't get much better than a 113% jump in net earnings, which is precisely what London-based Rio Tinto accomplished. Its $6.91 billion in earnings towered over the $3.25 billion for the first six months of 2007.
The earnings increase can be tied to a couple of factors: On the one hand, prices (and the underlying demand) for most of the commodities produced by the company -- and they range from alumina to zinc -- increased considerably. Indeed, in its earnings release, the company predicted higher prices for iron ore, alumina, and copper, its major minerals. The company joins Brazil's Vale
Beyond that, the company benefited from its acquisition last summer of Canada's aluminum producer Alcan, which, for a paltry $38 billion, it swept from the clutches of Pittsburgh-based Alcoa
Rio Tinto is also being pursued by BHP in a hostile and protracted takeover effort. And in a somewhat related quest, Aluminum Corp. of China
While it'll be six more months before we're treated to another round of earnings from Rio Tinto, I'm betting that the BHP-Rio Tinto skirmish won't have played itself out by that time.
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