At a time like this, when the world's economies can't figure out whether they're coming or going, investors have to take what lukewarm news they can get.
On Thursday, Rio Tinto
Another key metric that deserves mention is the progress the company has made in debt reduction within the reporting period. As of June 30, Rio Tinto's debt was a whopping $39.1 billion. But subsequent to that date the company was able to pay down $14.8 billion -- a benefit from the completion of a rights issue. So, even though Rio hasn't completely escaped its debt bugaboo, it's made some pretty heady progress.
At the same time the contribution from the company's iron ore group was lighter than observers had hoped for. At the $1.9 billion in net earnings, it wasn't far off the $2.0 billion that analysts had expected, but as they say: a miss is a good as a mile. The difference appears to be the result of a reduction in more stable contract sales -- mostly to the Chinese – due to customers seeking more volatile spot sales. Rio's rival, and now partner, BHP Billiton
The big three ore producers -- Rio, BHP, and Brazil's Vale
So the Chinese have reasons to be irked at Rio. Nevertheless, I recommend that Fools keep an eye on all the big three. When the world's economies improve, I'm betting that the trio will be in the catbird's seat.
Rio Tinto is rated a four-star company -- out of a possible five -- by Motley Fool's CAPS players. Why not add your vote to the tally?