Global miner Rio Tinto on Wednesday reported its first-half profit more than doubled from a year earlier following a rebound in iron ore prices and announced an additional $1 billion share buyback.
Underlying earnings for the six months to June 30 rose to $3.94 billion from $1.56 billion a year earlier, missing Thomson Reuters analysts' forecast of $4.19 billion. The stock dipped 2.2 percent in early deals Wednesday as investors moved to take stock of the company's new payout policy.
Rio Tinto is to return $3 billion to shareholders: $2 billion on the dividend side and $1 billion of share buybacks.
Speaking to CNBC Wednesday, Rio Tinto's Chief Executive Jean-Sebastien Jacques lauded the company's half-year dividend, which rose from 45 cents a share in 2016 to 110 cents a year this year.
"We have performed very well in a very uncertain and very volatile environment," Jacques noted.
"The $2 billion of dividend is the highest interim dividend in the history of Rio Tinto."