BHP Billiton Limited

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  • Jun. 8, 2012, 9:58 AM

    Miners everywhere are feeling the pinch from falling prices, but operators in Australia face the extra challenge of soaring labor costs plus carbon and mining taxes that soon take effect. "There's been such demand for gear over the last few years and mining guys get paid $140,000 to drive a dump truck. It's a joke... It's all going to come home to roost now." Y/Y: RIO -35%, BHP -32%.

    | Jun. 8, 2012, 9:58 AM | 6 Comments
  • Jun. 7, 2012, 7:59 AM
    Beijing policymakers now busily easing conditions may have had a look at literal mountains of iron-ore built up along China's eastern seaboard. The stockpiles hit an all-time high of 120 million tons as steelmakers hold off on orders. Coal is piling up as well, with stocks 40% higher than a year ago as electricity demand wanes.
    | Jun. 7, 2012, 7:59 AM
  • Jun. 6, 2012, 3:07 PM

    "Worse than 2008," is the conclusion of Credit Suisse analysts of Asia's metal and mining industry after having spent a couple of weeks on the ground. "Our discussions suggest a significant loss in growth momentum ... especially for steel makers." An expected China stimulus program "would bring temporary relief at best."

    | Jun. 6, 2012, 3:07 PM | 7 Comments
  • Jun. 5, 2012, 9:29 PM
    "Clearly this stage of development does not last forever," says BHP CEO Kloppers, talking about China. However, he maintains, it's important to look past the valley when making investment decisions. Turning to Oz, he says increased operating costs and high taxes have turned the country into a high cost spot, and notes the $5.50 he just paid for a cup of coffee in Perth.
    | Jun. 5, 2012, 9:29 PM | 5 Comments
  • May 31, 2012, 2:27 PM

    BHP Billiton (BHP -0.4%) receives final environmental approval for its $20B iron ore project in Western Australia, which will expand the Outer Harbour at Port Hedland and enable it to boost iron ore exports to ~350M metric tons/year by 2022. Although CEO Jac Nasser has said the company must "make choices" in its capital spending, BHP is expected to push ahead with this one.

    | May 31, 2012, 2:27 PM | 2 Comments
  • May 29, 2012, 10:57 AM
    KKR has backed away from the sale of BHP Billiton's (BHP) Ekati diamond mine in Canada, which could be worth up to $1.2B, according to an FT weekend report. Meanwhile, Rio Tinto (RIO) appoints Morgan Stanley to assess options for its diamond business, which could be worth as much as $2B, even as BHP's process raises questions about demand for such assets.
    | May 29, 2012, 10:57 AM
  • May 28, 2012, 4:55 AM

    S. Australia warns that it won't grant BHP (BHP) an extension to the right to proceed with a $33B expansion of the Olympic Dam copper-uranium-gold mine unless the company starts work on the project by the end of the year. BHP recently said it was scaling bank a five-year $80B investment program amid falling commodity prices.

    | May 28, 2012, 4:55 AM
  • May 24, 2012, 8:02 AM

    The majority of steel mills in northern China have halted production, according to an analyst in the coal-trade business, putting more meat behind an earlier story about iron ore and coking coal buyers attempting to back away from orders. Not surprisingly, electricity producers are seeing their own stockpiles of coal grow due to slumping demand for juice.

    | May 24, 2012, 8:02 AM | 3 Comments
  • May 22, 2012, 11:58 AM

    Chinese demand for copper is likely to improve in H2, the head of Xstrata's (XSRAF.PK) copper unit says, as the miner pledges to lift output by ~60% over three years even as rivals such as BHP and RIO have put the brakes on expansion. Recent data from China show its economy cooling faster than expected, prompting premier Wen Jiabao to call for new growth measures.

    | May 22, 2012, 11:58 AM
  • May 21, 2012, 7:14 AM
    Chinese buyers for iron ore and coking coal are attempting to defer orders and defaulting on contracts, according to reports from traders, as the country is filled to the brim with the stuff and the nation's steel mills are cutting output amidst heavy overcapacity. (see also)
    | May 21, 2012, 7:14 AM | 7 Comments
  • May 18, 2012, 10:58 AM

    BHP Billiton (BHP) is raised to Outperform by RBC Capital based on recent share price weakness and support the firm believes will come from a 4%-5% dividend yield and a progressive dividend policy. But CEO Marius Kloppers must walk a tightrope, as announced capex cuts could eventually put cash inflows at risk and threaten projected returns.

    | May 18, 2012, 10:58 AM | 3 Comments
  • May 18, 2012, 8:41 AM
    The typical pattern of China building up metals inventories in Q1 and using up through the rest of the year isn't holding as the piles keep growing larger, with granaries and car parks taking the excess from brimming warehouses. The stationary cargo trains at Qingdao port are tell a different story than still-decent PMI reports.
    | May 18, 2012, 8:41 AM | 2 Comments
  • May 17, 2012, 10:26 AM

    Thermal coal used in power generation was once seen as Australia's safe bet, but lately the bet is looking risky. Australian thermal coal has fallen to $98/ton, down 21% from its average Q1 daily price Y/Y; with concerns from lackluster Chinese demand growth to the European slowdown to a glut of U.S. natural gas competing for Japan's attention, it's hard to see prices powering back anytime soon.

    | May 17, 2012, 10:26 AM | 2 Comments
  • May 16, 2012, 5:49 AM

    BHP (BHP) Chairman Jacques Nasser says the company no longer plans to invest $80B in new projects over five years, as outlined by CEO Marius Kloppers last year. Nasser also warned of "volatility and uncertainty" and the further easing of commodity prices due to the uncertainty in the global economy.

    | May 16, 2012, 5:49 AM
  • May 14, 2012, 8:28 AM

    BHP Billiton (BHP) leaves the door open to the possibility of a writedown on its U.S. shale gas assets, saying it will decide the issue by the end of its fiscal year on June 30. BHP bought the 1.6M-acre Fayetteville and Petrohawk shale gas assets last year for a combined  $17B billion, but shale gas prices have been cut in half since the acquisitions. BHP -1.7% premarket.

    | May 14, 2012, 8:28 AM
  • May 4, 2012, 2:24 PM
    BHP and RIO are toning down massive capital expenditure plans in the face of questionable demand and rising costs going forward, and now appear to be listening to investors and directing some of those billions towards capital returns. Might American industrial names -  XLI -1.3%, CAT -2.1%, JOY -2.1% - feel the pain?
    | May 4, 2012, 2:24 PM | 3 Comments
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.