BHP Billiton plc Reports ‘Strong Year Of Production’

The shares of BHP Billiton (LSE: BLT) (NYSE: BBL.US) bounced 36p higher to 1,868p during early trade this morning after the miner issued a production report for its full year.

The FTSE 100 member claimed the twelve months to 30 June had been a “strong year of production“, with the group’s Western Australian iron ore operations and its Escondida mine in Chile both exceeding production guidance.

BHP said its Western Australian iron ore division had delivered its thirteenth consecutive annual production record, with shipments of 187 million tonnes during the year. The miner added production for the twelve months to June 2014 would advance to 207 million tonnes.

BHP also claimed copper production at its Escondida mine in Chile increased by 28% to 1.1 million tonnes, with current levels of activity projected to be sustained during 2014 and increasing to 1.3 million tonnes for 2015.

This morning’s statement also revealed total petroleum production up 6% to 236 million barrels of oil and coal production in Queensland rising to an annualised rate of 61 million tonnes.

Prior to today, mining analysts expected BHP’s annual earnings to drop from $3.22 to $2.59 per share, which would place the miner on a P/E multiple of less than 11.

In addition, last year’s $1.22 per share dividend currently supports a 4.3% income.

Of course, whether BHP’s valuation and today’s production statement combine to make the miner’s stock a ‘buy’ remains something only you can decide.

But if you already own BHP’s shares and are seeking an alternative buying opportunity, the Fool’s top analysts have named one company they believe will generate superior long-term capital growth…

…and such is their conviction, they have declared the share “The Fool’s Top Growth Stock For 2013“.

Simply click here for the report — it’s free.

> Maynard does not own any share mentioned in this article.