BHP Billiton Limited

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  • Sep. 13, 2012, 4:54 PM

    "Potash equities have enjoyed several years of a ‘super cycle,’ but that era appears poised to end," NBF's Robert Winslow predicts, going against the grain. Backing up his thesis is that annual potash demand just isn’t that great; Potash Corp. (POT) recently estimated global demand at ~53M metric tons this year, well off its original projection of as much as 60M.

    | Sep. 13, 2012, 4:54 PM
  • Sep. 13, 2012, 4:35 PM
    Perhaps adding momentum to coal's big upside move in recent days is the heavy short interest in some of the names: Short interest in ACI is 29%, ANR 18%, JRCC 27%, CNX +14%. Since Sept. 5, the day China announced its $156B infrastructure spending plan: ANR +56%, JRCC +38%, TCK +24%, BTU +23%, ACI +22%, YZC +19%, CNX +14%, CLD +14%, BHP +12%.
    | Sep. 13, 2012, 4:35 PM | 3 Comments
  • Sep. 12, 2012, 9:45 AM

    Lower demand and slumping prices should be a wake-up call to those who had started to believe the mining boom could last forever, BHP's Jacques Nasser says: "Now efficiencies and rationing, in terms of where you put your dollars, and looking at how governments are behaving" - a reference to moves to raise royalties on coal production - "is a very important part of the investment cycle."

    | Sep. 12, 2012, 9:45 AM | 5 Comments
  • Sep. 11, 2012, 2:51 PM

    The long-awaited cutback in Chinese iron ore production may be starting as an unnamed official at Minmetals Luzhong says his company is digging up less and other miners have halted altogether. What the market may really need are the gorillas - VALE, RIO, BHP - to not just slow expansion plans, but to slash production.

    | Sep. 11, 2012, 2:51 PM | 5 Comments
  • Sep. 11, 2012, 11:40 AM

    Deutsche Bank identifies a further $10B-$15B in assets BHP Billiton (BHP +2%) could sell that could allow the mining giant to fund its spending plans for high-returning growth projects such as U.S. shale, the Escondida and Spence mines in Chile, and loosening capacity bottlenecks in Australia's Pilbara iron ore operations. BHP raised $2.3B with two sales in the past two weeks alone.

    | Sep. 11, 2012, 11:40 AM
  • Sep. 11, 2012, 9:46 AM

    The increase in the royalty on coal output announced by Australia's resource-rich Queensland state comes just one day after two of the country's biggest mining companies, BHP Billiton (BHP) and Xstrata (XSRAY.PK) said they were cutting jobs and production. Coal producers warn the levy could prompt further job cuts and mine closures.

    | Sep. 11, 2012, 9:46 AM | 1 Comment
  • Sep. 10, 2012, 12:58 PM
    Coal companies rise on hopes for tighter supply after BHP says it will halt coal production at its Gregory mine in Australia and Xstrata restructures its coal operations. "The market's responding to the idea that the supply side is going to start to be rationalized, which is going to stabilize pricing for coking coal," a Normura analyst says. ANR +3.3%, ACI +3.4%, JRCC +5.4%.
    | Sep. 10, 2012, 12:58 PM
  • Sep. 7, 2012, 11:57 AM

    S&P warns the buffer around BHP Billiton's (BHP +3.7%) single-A credit rating has diminished with the slump in commodity prices, although it affirms its rating and says the outlook remains stable. "We believe BHP Billiton, compared to its peers, has the best asset diversity and is the most financially flexible to respond to weakening commodity prices," S&P says.

    | Sep. 7, 2012, 11:57 AM
  • Sep. 4, 2012, 9:58 AM
    BHP's slowing of its project development cycle will make it more difficult for aspiring iron ore producers to raise financing, likely leaving cash-strapped smaller companies vulnerable to takeovers, Ernst & Young's Mike Elliott speculates. Miners such as CLF, TCK or AAUKY.PK that could cut costs by sharing infrastructure to get their material from pit to port could be the most logical candidates.
    | Sep. 4, 2012, 9:58 AM
  • Sep. 4, 2012, 7:33 AM

    Australia's Fortescue joins rivals BHP and RIO in announcing slashed capital spending plans amidst sliding demand and pricing for iron ore. The move comes just days after the company's CEO said all was well in the business and the company expected to triple production within a year. Shares fell 4.2% in Sydney.

    | Sep. 4, 2012, 7:33 AM | 1 Comment
  • Aug. 31, 2012, 5:54 PM
    Something else for Xstrata (XSRAY.PK) shareholders to consider when voting next week whether to accept Glencore's (GLCNF.PK) takeover offer: the highest employee fatality rate among its closest peers. Glencore disclosed 36 employee fatalities in the past two years, four times more than Xstrata; death rates also far exceeded those at BHP, RIO and AAUKY.PK.
    | Aug. 31, 2012, 5:54 PM
  • Aug. 30, 2012, 8:25 AM

    Particularly thumped overnight was Sydney, it's 1% fall led by the miners as the decline in iron ore prices turns into a plunge, adding to concerns the country's resources boom has come to a close. Fortescue's (typically promotional) CEO Nev Porter begs to differ: "We've been selling everything we can produce," he says. Yes, but at what price? EWA -1% premarket.

    | Aug. 30, 2012, 8:25 AM | 3 Comments
  • Aug. 29, 2012, 8:17 AM

    "Watching this market is like watching the Titanic," writes a commodity broker of iron ore, off another 7% today to just $90/ton. The plunge will put to the test to the theory (also hopefully put forth in today's Joy Global earnings release) that Chinese ore production will come to a halt below $120/ton. Since when has oversupply/low prices caused the Chinese to cut back?

    | Aug. 29, 2012, 8:17 AM | 2 Comments
  • Aug. 27, 2012, 7:46 AM
    BHP continues to play defense, selling its Australian uranium assets to Cameco (CCJ) for $430M. "We can't pursue all of the growth operations that are before us," says a BHP spokesman. Cameco, on the other hand, has a more optimistic outlook for uranium in the wake of Fukushima than does BHP. (PR)
    | Aug. 27, 2012, 7:46 AM | 1 Comment
  • Aug. 24, 2012, 11:37 AM

    Bookmark this chart of iron ore prices, as it's becoming one of the more widely-followed global indicators. They've fallen another 1.9% today to just $100/ton, well below the line-in-the-sand price of $120 - the level at which Chinese producers would supposedly stop producing.

    | Aug. 24, 2012, 11:37 AM | 6 Comments
  • Aug. 24, 2012, 8:58 AM
    BHP Billiton (BHP) says it remains committed to a $20B expansion of the harbor at Australia's Port Hedland, after it signaled a delay earlier in the week. CEO Marius Kloppers had said BHP would focus on squeezing as much as it could out of the existing inner harbor port, but the company now says it may develop two additional berths in the inner harbor to help stretch capacity.
    | Aug. 24, 2012, 8:58 AM
Company Description
BHP Billiton Ltd is a natural resources company. The Company is engaged in the producing commodities, including iron ore, metallurgical and energy coal, conventional and unconventional oil and gas, copper, aluminium, manganese, uranium, nickel and silver.