Thumping BHP profit but what about the buy back?

BHP TruckBHP have reported a record first half result of $10.5 billion driven by iron ore and base metals prices. BHP also announced a decision to extend the existing buy back by $10 billion but without specific detail. This suggests that the buy back  was a late decision by the Board, possibly in response to shareholder and media pressure. Arch rival RIO also announced a $5 billion buy back only last week, as did Oz Minerals.

Marius Kloppers, the BHP CEO, stated today that the BHP franking credit account stood at $5 billion and that, in his view, the best way to return capital to shareholders was via an off market buy back.

We believe that it is likely that BHP will shortly announce details of an off market buy back in Australia.

Quest holds about 14% of our portfolio in BHP.