Shares in mining giant Rio Tinto fell in early trade despite a huge dividend payout to shareholders.
A short time ago, the shares were down 2% to $AU76.70.
The company announced cash returns to shareholders of $US9.7 billion ($AU12.4 billion) for the full year, including its biggest full year dividend of $US5.2 billion ($AU6.7 billion), at 290 US cents a share, and an additional share buy-back of $US1 billion added to previously announced buy-backs of $US3.5 billion ($AU4.5billion).
Underlying earnings for the year to December were up 69% to $US8.6 billion ($AU11 billion).
The results at a glance:
“The strength of our cash flow is a result of resilient prices during the year coupled with a robust operational performance and a focus on mine to market productivity,” says chief executive J-S Jacques.
Sales revenue was $40 billion ($AU51 billion), up $6.2 billion ($AU7.9 billion), mainly due to higher average commodity prices.
Today iron ore prices were rallying, recording their fourth consecutive day of gains.