S32 Share Price History
06 Aug, 2020
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Ivan Glasenberg has built up a formidable commodities giant. The Glencore chief executive officer’s resolute belief in the counter-cyclical value of a trading business paid off in the first half of 2020, with an oil bonanza that helped ease blows dealt by the coronavirus. Impairments still dragged it to a $2.6 billion net loss. The past two years haven’t been kind: The group is still under investigation over possible corrupt practices, coal has crumbled and the stock has underperformed traditional mining heavyweights. Glencore could do worse than to take the pandemic hint and revamp its investment proposition, with less of the black stuff and greener assets to get ahead of peers in a sector that hasn’t been a leader in environmental, social and governance terms. That might include completing a long-signposted change at the top. All but one of the old guard of divisional heads who became billionaires alongside Glasenberg when the miner and trader listed in 2011 have now left. With a shift away from past fiefdoms and a new generation in place, the company can at last outline an exit date, a new boss and its next act.Not all of the group’s troubles are within its control, or indeed avoidable. It can’t speed up investigations, and is already cooperating. Meanwhile, an unexpected, gravity-defying surge in iron ore, which Glencore doesn’t mine, has masked plenty of problems at rival diggers. The Covid-19 pandemic also took its toll: Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization for the first six months came in at a forecast-beating $4.8 billion, but still fell 13%. It wrote $3.2 billion off the value of Colombian coal, Chadian oil, African copper and Peruvian zinc. Even its oil trading win pushed up a debt burden already higher than most peers, and forced the company to scrap dividends for the year.It can, though, tell a better story, at a time when even oil majors are going green.That involves, first and foremost, tackling coal. It still helps fund Glencore’s more eco-friendly activities like battery ingredients copper, cobalt and nickel, but coal margins have shrunk to 23%, half where they were in 2018, and that’s not just a temporary coronavirus hit. The world’s largest thermal coal exporter capped production last year, and said last week it would cut back in light of oversupply. Glencore has resisted more dramatic strategic moves, arguing the material can recover, given limited new supply and Asian demand, and remain profitable, and that it doesn’t make up enough of its earnings to scare investors. With demand in places like Vietnam looking less bright, and ESG pressures only increasing, that’s a challenging argument to defend. Options include spinning off coal assets (thermal and less significant coking coal), following the path set by BHP Group with South32 Ltd. Fund manager distaste for an all-coal business, though, may push it toward a private solution, if enough backers can be found to build a coal powerhouse to feed Asian buyers. That’s looking cheaper than a year or so ago: Assuming annual Ebitda of roughly $1.3 billion for 2020 at current prices, and the multiples on which coal rivals like Whitehaven Coal Ltd. trade, a specialized entity could be worth roughly $9 billion. Neither of these alternatives is yet on the table. Keeping it isn’t impossible, of course, but as with BP Plc and oil, Glencore may require more evidence of a change of focus, perhaps even the retirement of its former coal trader boss. Parting company will be a challenge. Glasenberg’s pugnacious charisma has been key to Glencore’s lure. When it listed in 2011, as the rest of the mining industry was cleaning up after wasteful deals and over-priced projects, he was among the first to press for a focus on returns. He wasn’t only a leader, but a major shareholder with skin in the game, as he liked to remind investors. That glow hasn’t faded entirely and he is still the second-largest owner, but Glencore shares are worth less than half what they were less than a decade ago. Including reinvested dividends, the stock has generated a negative 51% total return for investors since 2011. Not all African operations have lived up to expectations, and even trading hasn’t been consistent.After his departure, Glasenberg will remain a strong voice, with 9% of the stock, a holding he has said he won’t sell under his replacement. It might be a good time to give a well-established board a few new faces.Yet Glencore’s traders have always been famed for their impeccable timing. With ESG the company is falling worryingly behind, and not just with coal. It has shifted investment plans to green metals and has a credible 2035 target for closely watched Scope 3 emissions, the greenhouse gases released by clients, but it’s one that relies largely on the inaction of allowing assets to deplete. The company recorded six fatalities in the first half, and embarrassingly few women at the top. Glencore can clean up faster.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Clara Ferreira Marques is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering commodities and environmental, social and governance issues. Previously, she was an associate editor for Reuters Breakingviews, and editor and correspondent for Reuters in Singapore, India, the U.K., Italy and Russia.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
23 Jul, 2020
If you want to know who really controls South32 Limited (ASX:S32), then you'll have to look at the makeup of its share...
29 Jun, 2020
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- BHP Group’s future can do without hydrocarbons.The world’s largest digger is among the last heavyweights to mix mines with a significant presence in oil, a combination that is becoming harder to justify over the long term. Crude demand will be slow to recover after a pandemic that has kept workers home and jets grounded, and some of that appetite will never come back. Meanwhile, pressure to cut carbon emissions is only increasing. Oil giant BP Plc is the latest to take a hit, warning it expects impairments and write-offs worth as much as $17.5 billion due to a more gloomy view of what lies ahead. The Big Australian could benefit from a dose of that realism.There is little question that the petroleum division, with assets from Western Australia to the Gulf of Mexico, has generated impressive cash over the years — if you exclude the ill-considered foray into U.S. shale, a $20 billion investment (excluding capital expenditure) much criticized by activist fund Elliott Management Corp. and eventually sold off in 2018. In the six months to December 2019, the unit accounted for about 13% of BHP’s total earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, notching up an impressive 65% margin. Only iron ore, the group’s top earner, was higher, at 69%. Add in low production costs that cushion the blow of 2020’s lackluster oil prices, and it’s easy to see why putting in more cash is tempting when, as analyst Glyn Lawcock of UBS Group AG points out, the miner has few readily available alternative investments.It’s also true that while the medium-term global appetite for oil looks far less certain than it did, there’s a more appealing argument to be made around fading supply. Indeed, the $115 billion miner’s central expectation last year of demand hitting a high point in the mid-2030s now looks bullish, compared to comments from the likes of Royal Dutch Shell Plc and BP. A peak even in the middle of this decade, BHP’s low-demand scenario, may prove optimistic. On the production side, though, the miner is right to point out that the industry has been investing less, a trend that will only accelerate after a disastrous 2020 and squeeze future production. BHP has estimated ongoing natural field decline at a rate of 3% to 5% per year.None of this means boss Mike Henry and his team can afford to ignore the signs that this year will prove to be a turning point for oil.Diversification has benefits, but operating synergies between oil and mining are debatable — it’s not an accident that while majors sold out of one or the other, none have returned. As a standalone business, the petroleum division might arguably have ventured less enthusiastically into shale. And the risk today is clear: Staying on can turn into overstaying.Here, Henry can reflect on the experience in thermal coal, where BHP woke up too late. Rival Rio Tinto Group offloaded its last coal mine in 2018, wrapping up a process that began in 2013. BHP held on to decent assets, using up tax losses. It’s now trying to retreat just as Anglo American Plc prepares to hive off its South African coal mines, and interest in the dirty fuel has dwindled. Oil has fewer easy substitutes, but it's conceivable that, with significant changes in policy, crude could be left similarly stranded. Accepting the need for an exit from a business that BHP has been in since the 1960s is only the first step, of course. For one, a carve-out in the mold of coal-to-aluminium producer South32 Ltd., which BHP spun off successfully in 2015, is harder to advocate for oil. The move then was about getting more out of sub-scale operations. In petroleum, BHP is not the operator for many of the assets, making such efficiencies harder to accomplish.BHP can begin by reviewing its portfolio, starting with mature assets in Australia. Partner Exxon Mobil Corp. has said that it’s seeking a buyer for its share of the Gippsland Basin oil and gas development in the Bass Strait; a joint sale with BHP has been considered before. Chevron Corp., meanwhile, has put its stake in the giant North West Shelf liquefied natural gas venture on the block. That operation, Australia’s largest LNG project, is shifting from processing its own gas to opening services to new suppliers, a business known as tolling — less suited to either Chevron or BHP. The mining giant has in any event been less enthusiastic about gas than oil.Granted, even that won’t be easy. Australia churns up a decent amount of revenue, and BHP can argue it is better to continue taking cash now, at the risk of selling for less later. Some investors may agree. A similarly short-term view in the Gulf of Mexico could see it adding to the portfolio as distressed rivals are forced out.For newish boss Henry, though, none of those would look like the decisions of a company preparing for a greener future. He has an opportunity to outline the path to net zero emissions when BHP announces full-year results in August. An exit plan for oil would be one decisive step toward that goal.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Clara Ferreira Marques is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering commodities and environmental, social and governance issues. Previously, she was an associate editor for Reuters Breakingviews, and editor and correspondent for Reuters in Singapore, India, the U.K., Italy and Russia.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
04 Jun, 2020
Half Year 2020 South32 Ltd Earnings Call (UK and South Africa Investors)
23 Mar, 2020
Investing in stocks comes with the risk that the share price will fall. And unfortunately for South32 Limited...
11 Mar, 2020
South32 Treasury (USA) Limited -- Moody's announces completion of a periodic review of ratings of South32 Limited
Moody's Investors Service ("Moody's") has completed a periodic review of the ratings of South32 Limited and other ratings that are associated with the same analytical unit. The review was conducted through a portfolio review in which Moody's reassessed the appropriateness of the ratings in the context of the relevant principal methodology(ies), recent developments, and a comparison of the financial and operating profile to similarly rated peers. Since 1 January 2019, Moody's practice has been to issue a press release following each periodic review to announce its completion.
03 Mar, 2020
Half Year 2020 South32 Ltd Earnings Call (Australia Investors)
06 Feb, 2020
Fund formerly run by Parames releases portfolio update Continue reading...
24 Jan, 2020
The external fund manager backed by Berkshire Hathaway's Charlie Munger, Li Lu, makes no bones about it when he says...
31 Dec, 2019
Today we'll do a simple run through of a valuation method used to estimate the attractiveness of South32 Limited...
20 Dec, 2019
South32 said it has exercised its option to acquire a 50% stake in the joint venture company that will own Upper Kobuk Mineral Project located in the Ambler mining district in Alaska. The company said the move follows a successful exploration partnership with Trilogy and will help the Australian miner expand its portfolio in North America by adding high-quality copper and base metals development options.
South32 Limited (ASX, LSE, JSE: S32; ADR: SOUHY) ("South32") and Trilogy Metals Inc. (TSX, NYSE American: TMQ) ("Trilogy Metals") announced today that South32 has exercised its option to acquire a 50% interest in a joint venture company ("Joint Venture") that will own the Upper Kobuk Mineral Projects ("UKMP") located in northwest Alaska. Trilogy Metals will contribute all of its assets associated with the UKMP and South32 will contribute US$145 million to the Joint Venture. Establishment of the Joint Venture is expected to occur in February 2020 and follows an initial exploration partnership between South32 and Trilogy Metals over three field seasons to advance both parties' geological understanding of the UKMP.
04 Dec, 2019
Today we are going to look at South32 Limited (ASX:S32) to see whether it might be an attractive investment prospect...
11 Nov, 2019
We often see insiders buying up shares in companies that perform well over the long term. On the other hand, we'd be...