BHP might move first, but Rio Tinto’s buyback likely bigger

Financial Post | Business

Both BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto Group should begin returning excess capital to shareholders during the next year, but BHP will likely move first, says Fraser Jamieson, an analyst at J.P. Morgan Cazenove in London

He thinks BHP could make an announcement during its fiscal 2014 results in August, but he thinks Rio Tinto offers a more compelling capital returns story even though it might wait to make a similar announcement until it reports in February 2015.

Mr. Jamieson estimates the miner could support a US$4.75-billion share buyback program in fiscal 2015, while keeping net debt near its US$15-billion target. That would produce EPS accretion somewhere between 3.8% and 4.1%.

The analyst further noted BHP could support share repurchases of around US$3-billion, implying 1.3% to 1.4% in earnings accretion.

“Both management teams have emphasized they are in listening mode around the preferred mechanism for any returns,” Mr. Jamieson told clients, noting…

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Australia: Last Friday was a bad news day for jobs

Peak Jobs News

If you didn’t know it already Friday is a favoured day for HR/organisations to cut jobs or make big announcements around job losses. I’ve been getting a few updates on organisational announcements from Friday but rather than do individual updates I thought I might to a compilation. Announcements came from Government (ATO & the Murray-Darling Basin Authority) and Mining (BMA). Announcements:

Firstly, via the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Australian Tax Office offers 500 voluntary redundancies as it sheds jobs. Excerpt:

Staff at the Australian Tax Office (ATO) have been offered 500 voluntary redundancies as the department looks to shed 900 positions. The ABC has confirmed that ATO second commissioner Geoff Leeper has sent an email to all staff, calling for expressions of interest for a voluntary redundancy program. It is understood the organisation has funding for around 500 voluntary redundancy packages. Priority will be given to staff working in areas…

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