Thursday, February 11, 2010

BHP Billiton (NYSE: BHP) Doubles First Half Profits on Commodity Demand

BHP Billiton (NYSE: BHP)

BHP Billiton (NYSE: BHP) had a tremendous first half to their fiscal year as profits doubled on continuing demand for commodities, largely fueled by China and India.

While some try to tout this as also being fueled by European and American demand, that's not true in general, as least from the point of view of being sustainable, as many manufactures, particularly in America, were simply replenishing supplies, a major reason the recent data haven't been that exciting to economists or analysts.

That is probably reflected in the lower dividend than expected from BHP, as the one-off results in the United States won't be repeated any time soon. The company reported a divident of 42 cents for the first half, while expectations were it would come in at 44 cents. That's usually an indicator of uncertainty and unpredictability, and I would say that would largely come from slowing demand from Western countries.

Even so, some commodities will continue to flourish as growth in emerging markets resumes, and as China especially focuses on relying less on imports and more on domestic growth, which is fueling numerous infrastructure projects which will continue for years and require numerous raw materials.

“Physical demand for bulk commodities continues to be very strong in most regions,” BHP said in the statement. “Commodity markets will continue to be largely dependent on Chinese and Indian demand. In the short term, it is critical to monitor the pace of monetary tightening and the rate of loan growth for commodity intensive sectors in China.”

BHP Billiton (NYSE: BHP)

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