Rio Tinto's shares are 1.2% higher in a generally flat market. This represents a dividend yield of 2.98%. The official announcement can be viewed at this link.
Rio Tinto has optimised the portfolio, with disposals of $1.3 billion announced or completed in FY2016. The company's stock had a trading volume of 6,488,166 shares. The firm's market cap is GBX 60.75 billion.
As part of the US$3.6 billion return to shareholders, Rio declared a full-year dividend of 170 United States cents per share and a share buyback of US$500 million this year.
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Rio Tinto remains committed to its diamonds business and the Indian diamond industry through its world-class underground mines, the Argyle diamond mine in Australia and the Diavik diamond mine in Canada, the company said.
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RIO has been the topic of several recent research reports.
Rio says it will pay an annual dividend of US$1.70/share, down 21% from last year's $2.15/share but well above the $1.36 analyst consensus and the company's stated commitment to pay a minimum $1.10 dividend.
Over the last twelve months Rio Tinto PLC's stock price has increased by 102.15% from 1743.73 to 3525. The disposal could help reduce borrowings to $3.9bn by the end of 2017, Deutsche Bank has said. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and fifteen have issued a buy rating to the company's stock. This would indicate that the analyst believes there is a potential upside of 17.1% from today's opening price of 3417 GBX. In the a year ago they have lagged other mining companies such as Glencore PLC (LON:GLEN) (LSE:GLEN.L), Anglo American plc (LON:AAL) (LSE:AAL.L), Antofagasta plc (LON:ANTO) (LSE:ANTO.L) and BHP Billiton plc (LON:BLT) (LSE:BLT.L).
In total, $3.6 billion will be returned to shareholders in respect of FY2016.
Rio Tinto's Pilbara shipments in 2017 are expected to be between 330 and 340 million tonnes, subject to weather conditions. The Company's diamonds and minerals businesses include mining, refining and marketing operations across approximately five sectors. It continues to invest in major growth projects in bauxite, iron ore and copper.