BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP) is the world’s largest diversified resources company, with a global portfolio of high quality assets and more than 100 operations in 25 countries. BHP is the largest company (by market cap) in the Australian share market and is widely considered among the blue chip stocks.
It is an industry leader in most of the major commodities markets, including aluminium, coking and thermal coal, copper, manganese, iron ore, uranium, nickel, silver and titanium. On top of this, BHP has sizeable interests in oil, gas, natural gas and diamonds.
On 16 February, BHP reported a 72% surge in 1H11 net profit to US$10.5 billion, beating some analyst estimates.
Underlying EBITDA surged 60% on-year as an improving economy and supply side constraints saw BHP benefit from major increases in the prices of its core commodities.
Core earnings at BHP’s iron ore division grew 178% on-year amid record production in WA, rising prices and persistent tightness in iron ore markets.
BHP reported strong results in its other major commodities, with coal and base metals both seeing a big increase in underlying EBIT.
BHP was also reported a 123% surge in net operating cash flows. As a result, BHP boosted its existing share buyback plan to US$10 billion, which will be completed by the end of 2011.
The group declared an interim dividend of US46 cents a share, up from US42 cents a year ago.
BHP was bullish about its outlook, noting that growth in emerging markets was expected to remain strong despite further monetary tightening in countries such as China and India.