South32 Ltd (ASX:S32) reported better-than-expected first half financial results.
In 1H16, the base metal and coal miner posted a net loss of US$1.75 billion. However, the company’s fortunes have reversed dramatically - with the posting of a US$620 million statutory net profit in 1H17.
It would be an understatement to just say that the company’s underlying earnings have ‘risen’. Between 1H16 and 1H17, South32’s underlying earnings skyrocketed 1,742% from $26 million to $470 million.
These solid results were driven by the recent increase in base commodity prices as well as steady demand.
South32 has also announced its plans to acquire Metropolitan Colliery coal business in NSW for US$200 million. However, this transaction will require ACCC approval before it can be finalised.
The company will pay an interim dividend of 3.6 US cents per share on 6 April 2017 - which is also a significant improvement because it did not pay an interim dividend this time last year.