Chilean copper miner Antofagasta Plc announced a higher-than-expected dividend payout on Tuesday and reported a drop in annual core earnings that was in line with analysts’ projections.
The company lowered its final dividend by about 9 percent to 37 cents per share from last year, but topped the expectations of at least two analysts.
Peel Hunt analysts had forecast 18 cents, while Barclays was expecting 19 cents.
The FTSE-100 company said earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) fell 13.9 percent to $2.23 billion in the year ended Dec. 31 - in line with Refinitiv estimates.
Antofagasta had announced in January that annual copper production rose 3 percent to 725,300 tonnes and came in at the higher end of its forecast, as its Centinela mine produced better quality ore and higher output.
This was after the company was forced to tighten its 2018 production guidance in October, hurt by demand disruptions for the metal, caused by top consumer China’s trade war with the United States.
“As US/China trade negotiations have progressed during the first few months of this year copper price has traded favourably,” Chief Executive Iván Arriagada said.