BHP Billiton’s Buyback Options in Question Before Fourth Quarter Results
The beginning of 2014 led several people to the idea that BHP would do a buyback or other capital management exercise. However, this expectation was crushed when iron ore prices fell dramatically to $98 a tonne.
The long-expected buyback many have expected of BHP Billiton could be delayed due to the deteriorating iron ore prices. Before the company releases their fourth-quarter production results on Wednesday, analysts are sharing their thoughts on BHP’s plans.
The prospect of sharply lower earnings in F2015 has all but ruled out a buyback or special dividend.
"We think capital management initiatives, other than a lift in the progressive dividend policy, will be deferred until August 2015," said Credit Suisse analyst Paul McTaggart.
“If there is a buyback, it will likely be small [less than $3 billion] and not material in terms of BHP’s scale."
Glyn Lawcock of USB thinks that a buyback could still be plausible on the heels of BHP Billiton’s full-year results announcement in August.
"We expect any announcement to be an on-market buyback with any off-market buyback delayed until there is an adequate buffer between the net debt level and BHP's targeted net debt level," Mr Lawcock shared.
Other analysts believe the public is too hung up on the dollar figure of the buyback, and should instead be focusing on which buyback mechanism BHP will use, if any.
"If it’s a $3 billion buyback or a $5 billion buyback that really isn’t going to move the needle for a $200 billion company," said Deutshe Bank analyst Paul Young. "The market is too hung up on it. It’s the mechanism that they choose that is important, much more than the amount."
Amobee Appoints Nick Brien As CEO
In its latest strategic move, Amobee—a global multimedia advertising leader—announced that Nick Brien will be its Chief Executive Officer. The company is entirely owned by Singtel, Asia’s leading communications technology organisation, which provides consumers with mobile, broadband, and TV and businesses with data hosting, cloud, network infrastructure, analytics, and cybersecurity tools.
Brien, who has worked for Microsoft, Intel, P&G, and American Express, will take over to drive the next generation of advertising tech. Said Evangelos Simoudis, Chairman of the Board of Amobee: ‘Nick has the deep expertise in advertising that we need to seize the market opportunities ahead’.
How Did Brien Get Here?
Before joining Amobee, Brien led 15,000 people across 40 divisions as CEO of the Americas for Dentsu International. For thirty years, he’s helped brands pilot unique advertisements, keeping up with the latest trends. He’s served as CEO of McCann Worldgroup, global CEO of IPG Mediabrands, President of Hearst Marketing Services, and CEO of iCrossing. Over the course of his career, he’s consistently strategised how to keep up with digital shifts. Now, he’ll capitalise on Amobee’s legions of experienced data scientists and developers.
‘I’m excited to be joining Amobee at such a transformative time in our industry’, Brien explained. ‘We’ll pilot advertising accountability and intelligent decisioning. And there’s no doubt in my mind that optimising media performance—whether you’re targeting, planning, buying, or delivering—can only be achieved using applied science, machine learning, and data analytics’.
What Does This Mean for Amobee?
Amobee is set on growing its personal brand within the advertising sector. As APAC social media influencers, Gen Z growth hackers, and viral content producers start to enter the field, established companies will be working doubly hard to keep up. Amobee, however, is still looking good. With a Gartner Magic Quadrant for Ad Tech, a Forrester New Wave recognition, and now, Nick Brien as CEO, the firm is set up for success.