I must admit to a certain amount of envy when I look at foreign companies that report their results in half-year increments, rather than quarterly.
But I won't be able to alter our systems, and so I'll tell you about the results for mining giant Rio Tinto
In iron ore, Rio joins Brazil's Vale
The company also benefited from a 78% increase in copper and molybdenum prices -- a phenomenon that aided Freeport-McMoRan (NYSER: FCX) recently. At the same time, aluminum prices improved by 50%, while gold levies were up 26%.
For the past few years, Rio Tinto has admittedly been carrying excessive debt, primarily because of its earlier acquisition of Canada's Alcan. However, during the first half of this year, it reduced its net debt to $12 billion, from $18.9 billion at Dec. 31, 2009 (and $39 billion a year ago). The company's plan was to reach $10.3 billion in divestitures, which it has accomplished. This year, it has sold more than $3.6 billion of its non-core assets. Beyond that, it has received a binding offer -- with undisclosed terms -- for 61% of Alcan Engineered Products.
But it hasn't abandoned growth. It continues to move forward on its planned iron ore joint venture with BHP Billiton and has reached an agreement with Aluminum Corp. of China
So, Rio Tinto is making big progress on many fronts. Looking over its accomplishments, I can't help but believe that the resource-rich company would contribute nicely to most portfolios.