Rio Tinto Reports Lower Earnings for 2022 and Cuts Dividend

Rio Tinto PLC

Mining company Rio Tinto PLC has reported its earnings for 2022, revealing lower profits and a reduced dividend. The company recorded underlying earnings of $13.28 billion for the 12 months ending 31 December 2022, down from $21.38 billion in the previous year. This was due to lower prices for iron ore and copper, as well as higher costs for energy and raw materials. Analysts had expected earnings of $13.39 billion. Rio Tinto paid a total dividend of $4.92 per share, down from a record $10.40 per share in 2021.

Operating costs at the company’s Pilbara iron-ore operations, which generate most of its earnings, were slightly above expectations in 2022 at $21.30 per metric ton. The company reiterated its cost estimate of $21.00-$22.50 per ton for 2023. Rio Tinto said energy prices compared with 2021 cut underlying earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization by $1.17 billion, mostly due to higher diesel prices. Rising general inflation across the company’s operations further reduced earnings by $1.48 billion.

Rio Tinto (RIO:LSE) also revealed plans to increase its capital investment, with an expected rise to $9.0 billion-$10.0 billion annually in 2024 and 2025, up from around $8.0 billion in 2023. This includes investing around $1.5 billion over three years in decarbonization projects, mainly relating to renewable developments in the Pilbara. The company said it aims to increase growth capital expenditure to around $2 billion in 2023 and up to $3 billion per year in 2024-2025, with a focus on materials that are expected to see strong demand growth from the low carbon transition. This includes investment in future production of lithium at Rincon, copper at Oyu Tolgoi and Winu, and high-grade iron ore from Simandou.

Rio Tinto’s earnings report reflects ongoing challenges for the mining industry, including fluctuating prices and the need to transition towards more sustainable practices. The company’s focus on renewable projects and materials needed for the low carbon transition suggests it is looking to address these challenges and position itself for future growth opportunities.

Rio Tinto PLC Stock Analysis:

Rio Tinto PLC’s stock has an average analyst target price of GBX 5,603.81 over the next year, according to ten analysts. The average analyst ratings for the company is under-perform. However, Stock Target Advisor’s analysis is bullish, with 12 positive signals and four negative signals. As of the last closing, the company’s stock price was GBX 6,204.00, having increased by 186% in the past week, but decreased by 9% over the past month. Over the last year, the stock price has increased by 9.01%.

Company Overview

Rio Tinto Group engages in exploring, mining, and processing mineral resources worldwide. The company offers aluminum, copper, diamonds, gold, borates, titanium dioxide, salt, iron ore, and lithium. It also owns and operates open pit and underground mines, mills, refineries, smelters, power stations, and research and service facilities. Rio Tinto Group was founded in 1873 and is headquartered in London, the United Kingdom.

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