BHP shares are getting hammered

BHP CEO Andrew Mackenzie. (Greg Wood / AFP / Getty Images)

Shares in BHP fell sharply at the open, after the company’s London-listed shares fell by 4.6% overnight following an underwhelming half-year earnings report.

The company’s stock on the ASX immediately dipped by 5%, and a short time ago was down 4.5%:

The company posted a 16% lift in revenue to $US21.78 billion for the half year to December, but profit after tax was down by 37% to $US2.01 billion and missed analyst expectations by almost 10%.

The fall in profits was mainly due to one-off items amounting to around $US2 billion, in connection with US tax reforms and the fatal Samarco mine dam disaster in Brazil.

Despite that, BHP has remained committed to its focus on capital management — reporting a 23% fall in net debt to $US15.4 billion.

It also announced a dividend of 55 US cents fully franked, up from 40 US cents last year.

CEO Andrew Mackenzie said the company plans to complete the sale of its US shale oil assets by the end of this year.

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