BlueScope Steel Limited share price jumps on profit surge

Credit: H is for Home

Shares of BlueScope Steel Limited (ASX: BSL) rose as much as 3.4% within minutes of the ASX’s open this morning following the release of its half-year financial report.

For the six-month period ended 31 December 2015, BlueScope reported a 2.3% increase in revenue to $4,438.8 million and a net profit of $226.6 million, up 97.7% on the prior corresponding period.

The statutory profit figure takes into account $567.5 million of impairments to assets as well as a carried forward tax loss. The profit result was also boosted by a write-up to the carrying value of BlueScope’s recently acquired 50% stake in US-based North Star BlueScope Steel. BlueScope previously held a half ownership stake in the business and acquired full ownership at the end of October 2015. Upon taking 100% ownership, it was required to revalue the asset.

The Company has continued its good momentum in earnings growth. It’s a very positive outcome and a credit to our teams around the globe,” BlueScope’s managing director and CEO, Paul O’Malley, said. “Today’s result is the outcome of a deliberate strategy that has been underway for over a year.”

“We have moved to full ownership of North Star, recognised as the best steelmaking business in the US. It has a clear pathway of incremental growth ahead of it,” Mr O’Malley added.

Pleasingly, the company’s board resolved to declare an interim fully franked dividend of 3 cents per share.

And despite plunging iron ore prices, oversupply and volatility in steel markets, Mr O’Malley said: “The results today confirm our strategy is working; it has delivered substantial bottom line benefits in the half.”

On an underlying basis (excluding the one-off costs and benefits highlighted above), BlueScope achieved EBIT (earnings before interest and tax) growth of 35% year over year.

Looking ahead, Mr O’Malley said the company appears set for another strong half. “Notwithstanding a challenging macroeconomic environment, due to the significant cost reductions and process improvements we are implementing, we expect 2H FY2016 underlying EBIT to be up to 60% higher than 2H FY2015.”

Want our BEST technology stock idea?

Our expert analysts recently hand-picked their top technology stock idea for 2016. And it's easy to see why: It has a big dividend yield, is growing rapidly and has heaps of cash on its balance sheet. Best of all: their top stock pick of 2016 is yours free! Just click here, enter your email address, and we'll send you their research report. No credit card details or payment required.

Motley Fool writer/analyst Owen Raszkiewicz does not have a financial interest in any company mentioned. Owen welcomes -- and encourages -- your feedback on Google+, LinkedIn or you can follow him on Twitter @ASXinvest.

Unless otherwise noted, the author does not have a position in any stocks mentioned by the author in the comments below. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

Two New Stock Picks Every Month!

Not to alarm you, but you’re about to miss a very important event! Chief Investment Advisor Scott Phillips and his team at Motley Fool Share Advisor are about to reveal their latest official stock recommendation. The premium “buy alert” will be unveiled to members and you can be among the first to act on the tip.

Don’t let this opportunity pass you by – this is your chance to get in early!

Simply enter your email now to find out how you can get instant access.

By clicking this button, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. We will use your email address only to keep you informed about updates to our website and about other products and services we think might interest you. You can unsubscribe from Take Stock at anytime. Please refer to our Financial Services Guide (FSG) for more information.