Investors will flock straight to the dividend page tomorrow after miner BHP releases its annual results overnight, expected to reveal the highest annual dividend in the company’s history.
Analysts had expected the dividend to reach around $2.36 for the full year 2019, up from $1.18 the year before, according to a consensus compiled by Vuma. The dividend includes a $1.02 special payout from January.
It would mark a rebound for the company’s payout to shareholders, which was slashed by around a quarter in 2016 after the bottom fell out of the metals market.
Iron ore prices, one of BHP’s key products along with copper and coal, ticked up earlier this year after 300 people died or went missing in a Brazilian mining accident.
BHP’s share price rose after the disaster, hitting 2,049p in early July, up from 1,569p when the dam burst in January.
The dividend was boosted by a special payout after the company sold its shale assets in the US Permian Basin to BP for $10.5bn (£8.7bn) last year.
Later the company promised to return $10.4bn to shareholders, equally split between a special dividend and a share buyback.
“Some analysts are looking for the potential of another special dividend,” said Graham Spooner at the Share Centre, a retail stockbroker.
But the company is also operating with activist investor Elliott as an owner, and global headwinds could flare, said Russ Mould at AJ Bell, an investment platform.
“It feels that the global macro isn’t as helpful as it once was,” he said.
In April iron ore production forecasts were slashed after a storm hit BHP’s mines in Australia.