ARCH Coal – Jim CRAMER says ” boo”

Yes Halloween is past but it’s never to late to scare you off coal .

TheStreet Quant Ratings rates Arch Coal  ( ACI) as a sell. The company’s weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its disappointing return on equity, poor profit margins, weak operating cash flow, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and generally high debt management risk.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

Current return on equity is lower than its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of weakness within the company. Compared to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, ARCH COAL INC’s return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
The gross profit margin for ARCH COAL INC is currently extremely low, coming in at 12.81%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -13.09% is significantly below that of the industry average.
Net operating cash flow has decreased to $80.34 million or 40.29% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing the cash generation rate to the industry average, the firm’s growth is significantly lower.
ACI’s stock share price has done very poorly compared to where it was a year ago: Despite any rallies, the net result is that it is down by 44.75%, which is also worse that the performance of the S&P 500 Index. Investors have so far failed to pay much attention to the earnings improvements the company has managed to achieve over the last quarter. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock’s sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now.
The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 2.67 and currently higher than the industry average, implying increased risk associated with the management of debt levels within the company. Regardless of the company’s weak debt-to-equity ratio, ACI has managed to keep a strong quick ratio of 2.36, which demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.

China Data Signals Slowing Economy – Commodities Update – Oil, Iron Ore, Gold, Nickel, Copper

Copper lead most industrial metals lower after factory and retail-sales data signaled further slowing in China, the world’s biggest user.

Copper in London fell as much as 1 percent, while aluminum, nickel, lead and tin also declined. Industrial-output growth in China was the weakest in August since the global financial crisis, while investment and retail sales moderated, figures released Sept. 13 showed. Factory data due today from the U.S., the second-biggest metals user, will probably indicate activity in August slowed from the previous month, according to a Bloomberg News survey.

“The Chinese data over the weekend came in worse than expected,” Daniel Hynes, an analyst at Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd., said by phone from Sydney. “It’s not surprising the base metals are weaker on the back of it.”

Copper for delivery in three months on the LME fell to as low as $6,770.75 a metric ton, the lowest intraday level since Sept. 11. Prices were down 0.5 percent at $6,804 a ton by 3:16 p.m. Hong Kong time, poised for the lowest close since June 19.

In New York, the December-delivery contract dropped 1 percent to $3.077 a pound, while in Shanghai the metal for delivery in November fell 0.4 percent to close at 48,380 yuan ($7,877) a ton.

Industrial output in China rose 6.9 percent from a year earlier in August, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Sept. 13. That’s down from 9 percent in July and the slowest pace outside the Lunar New Year holiday period of January and February since December 2008, based on previously reported figures compiled by Bloomberg.

On the LME, lead fell 0.6 percent to $2,110 a ton, while aluminum declined 0.4 percent to $2,020.50 a ton.

Vale’s View

Iron ore may rise to as much as $100 a ton by the end of the year because of declining inventory at ports, Vale Chief Executive Officer Murilo Ferreira told reporters on Sept. 12 in Beijing. Some producers are reducing exports given current prices, Ferreira said. China is the world’s largest buyer.

In China, there’s mounting evidence locally-mined supplies are starting to drop, Morgan Stanley’s Crane wrote. Output, when adjusted to show the equivalent of 62 percent content, fell 13 percent between April and July year-on-year, he said.

“Market participants appear split on the floor price,” Australia & New Banking Group Ltd. analysts including Mark Pervan wrote in a report today. While some are “thinking the resilience of Chinese iron ore supply will see prices fall below $80 a ton, while others firmly believe domestic output can’t sustain current price levels for much longer.”

Expanding Glut

Iron ore prices are unlikely to recover as the global surplus expands, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said in a Sept. 10 report. The bank reduced its price forecast for the final three months of 2014 by 10 percent to $90, and also reduced full-year estimates for 2016 and 2017.

The structural nature of the surplus and a weak demand outlook in China make a recovery in prices unlikely, Goldman analysts Christian Lelong and Amber Cai wrote in the report. The global glut will more than triple to 163 million tons in 2015 from 52 million tons this year, and widen further to 245 million tons in 2016 and 295 million tons in 2017, it said

Oil Supply

Brent fell to $96.27 a barrel after settling at its lowest level since June 2012 amid concern global fuel consumption is slowing while output climbs. West Texas Intermediate crude sank 1 percent to $91.34 today, after slipping 0.6 percent Sept. 12. The International Energy Agency cut its global oil-demand forecast for 2015 last week.

Russia’s ruble slid as much as 0.5 percent to 37.0380 per dollar, a record low, before trading at 37.985. The euro bought 49.2745 rubles, the most since Sept. 1. The Micex Index climbed 0.2 percent in Moscow.

Copper for three-month delivery on the London Metal Exchange fell to $6,802.75 a metric ton, following last week’s 2 percent retreat. Lead dropped 0.6 percent to $2,108 a ton.

Gold for immediate delivery increased 0.4 percent to $1,234.98 an ounce after closing last week at $1,229.65, the lowest since Jan. 9.

Palladium climbed 1.3 percent to $848.50 an ounce.


2014-08-13 Reuters Gold Poll

Reuters quarterly interviews analysts to gather their gold price prediction. We have collected the forecasts made in 2014 and conclude that the sentiment has stabilized but the expectations for 2015 remain low.

THOMSON REUTERS 2014 Avg Gold Price Prediction 2015 Avg Gold Price Prediction No of Analysts interviewed
Q1 Poll Jan 2014 $1,235 37
Q2 Poll Apr 2014 $1,278 $1,250 28
Q3 Poll July 2014 $1,277 $,1250 31

 Nickel Falls a Fifth Session Amid China Slowdown Signals

Sept. 15 (Bloomberg) — Nickel and aluminum fell for a fifth session in London as industrial metals declined after factory and retail-sales data added to evidence of a slowing economy in China, the world’s biggest consumer. Copper slid.

Chinese industrial-output growth in August was the weakest since the global financial crisis, while investment and retail sales moderated, figures showed. Factory data due today from the U.S., the second-biggest metals user, will probably indicate activity in August slowed from the previous month, according to a Bloomberg News survey.

“Weak Chinese data weighed on base-complex prices,” RBC Capital Markets Ltd. said in a note today. Commodities slumped to the lowest level in more than five years.

Copper for delivery in December lost 0.8 percent to $3.081 a pound by 8 a.m. on the Comex in New York.

The metal for delivery in three months fell 0.4 percent to $6,808 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange and lead touched the lowest price since June. An index of the six main metals traded on the LME slid the most since March last week.

Industrial output in China rose 6.9 percent from a year earlier in August, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Sept. 13. That’s down from 9 percent in July and the slowest pace outside the January-February Lunar New Year holiday period since December 2008, based on previously reported figures compiled by Bloomberg.

“Prices may well weaken further,” William Adams, an analyst at Fastmarkets.com in London, said in a note today. “We saw last week a combination of weakness and bouts of scale-down buying, and we feel we may see more of the same this week, especially in those metals that have seen strong price gains in recent months.”

Copper stockpiles monitored by the LME fell 0.1 percent to 156,375 tons, daily data showed. Orders to take the metal from warehouses rose to 40,250 tons on bookings in New Orleans and are up 40 percent in three sessions, the most since April 2013.

Tin and zinc declined in London.

The Gold Sector :The Worst Slump In Prices In 30 Years Will Continue

The gold industry, recovering from the worst slump in prices in 30 years, needs more mergers to help

improve investor returns and eliminate unprofitable mines or prices will continue to fall said Jack A.

Bass , author of The Gold Investors Handbook.

ABN Amro’s commodity analysts put it plainly last week. They expect gold’s 11% rise in the first-half of 2014 to be “temporary” because US Fed rates hikes are coming, while the outlook is “positive” for equities. Such thinking makes sense based on 2013′s example. Taper talk pushed bond prices down last year, nudging market interest rates higher. The S&P500 meanwhile returned 32%, a little more than gold prices fell.
Logic might also see a trade-off between gold and rising returns on other assets. Because the metal yields nothing and does nothing. It can’t even rust. Equities and interest-paying investments on the other hand work to increase your money. So gold prices should fall when equities rise, and also when the markets expect higher interest rates. Or so analysts now think.
GOLD was a universal “sell” for professional analysts at New Year, writes Adrian Ash at BullionVault.
Losing 30% in 2013, the gold price faced the long-awaited start of US Fed tapering – widely supposed to make fixed-income bonds go down, nudging interest rates higher – plus strong hopes for further gains in world equities. Who needed the barbarous relic?

Gold producers, which are gathering for the annual invitation-only Denver Gold Forum that began yesterday, cut budgets, sold assets and adjusted mine plans after the metal plunged 28 percent last year, prompting more than $26 billion of writedowns. The industry already has started a consolidation process.

“The industry did a very poor job from a capital-allocation standpoint, from a risk-management standpoint and from an operational-execution standpoint,” he said. “For long-term oriented investors it would be better for the industry to get more right-sized where companies are focused on generating profit at a conservative gold price assumption.”

‘Darwinistic Scenarios’

Combining companies can help eliminate their respective unprofitable operations, he said. Weak companies with good assets may also be targeted by stronger producers, he said.

“Or the least appealing of the Darwinistic scenarios is a company that has gotten all of those things — capital allocation, risk management and operational execution — wrong and they wind up going bankrupt,” he said.

There have already been some moves toward consolidation this year. Yamana Gold Inc. and Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. bought Osisko Mining Corp. after beating out a hostile bid from Goldcorp Inc. Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX) and Newmont Mining Corp., the two largest producers by sales, also discussed a merger this year before breaking off talks in April.

“I do believe the gold industry is in the process of consolidating,” Wickwire of Fidelity  said.

‘Survivors and Thrivers’

Wickwire said as an investor he focuses on companies he terms “survivors and thrivers”: those with good management and strategy. He is also interested in enterprises that may have poor strategy or boards and management but own good assets that would be better operated by another producer. He declined to name specific companies.

The Fidelity Select Gold Portfolio rose 17 percent this year through Sept. 12, compared with a 2.4 percent increase in New York gold futures. The Philadelphia Stock Exchange Gold and Silver Index of 30 companies gained 8.9 percent.

Wickwire holds both bullion and gold equities in his fund. While gold miners underperformed the metal in the past two years, they can also outperform strongly when companies’ operations, capital allocation and risk-management decisions improve, he said.

“Under the appropriate backdrops, if you have a 10 percent movement in the gold price, some companies out there have the potential to generate 30 to 40 or 50 percent cash flow and earnings-per-share growth,” Wickwire said. “And when the companies are executing, the market rewards that dynamic aspect with a higher valuation.”

Iron Ore Price Drop No Relief to Shipping Sector

Price drop will not increase demand from China – and not increase shipping demand.

Iron ore declined sooner than expected this year as supplies exceeded demand and prices are unlikely to recover, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc., which said 2014 will mark the end of a so-called iron age.

This year “is the inflection point where new production capacity finally catches up with demand growth, and profit margins begin their reversion to the historical mean,” analysts Christian Lelong and Amber Cai wrote in a report today titled: “The end of the Iron Age.” The 2016 forecast for seaborne ore was cut to $79 a metric ton from $82 and the 2017 outlook was reduced to $78 from $85, according to the New-York based bank, which stuck with a forecast for $80 next year.

The raw material tumbled into a bear market this year as the biggest producers including Rio Tinto (RIO) Group expanded low-cost output, betting higher volumes would more than offset falling prices while less competitive mines were forced to close. The decline in prices came sooner than expected, according to Goldman, which said in November that iron ore would probably drop at least 15 percent this year. The commodity is seen in a structural downtrend, JPMorgan Chase & Co. said today.

“The price decline has been dramatic, but a weak demand outlook in China and the structural nature of the surplus make a recovery unlikely,” Lelong and Cai wrote. “Lower prices for iron ore and steel are unlikely to boost demand in a material way. Instead, the day when steel production in China will peak gets ever closer.

Lowest Level

Ore with 62 percent content at the Chinese port of Qingdao fell 39 percent to $82.22 a dry ton this year, the lowest level since September 2009, according to data from Metal Bulletin Ltd. The Bloomberg Commodity Index (BCOM), which doesn’t include iron ore as a member, lost 2 percent in the period. Within the index, soybeans fell the most.

Before the surplus emerged, iron ore supplies were tight and producers had above-trend profits even as costs increased, according to Lelong and Cai. That period, dubbed by the bank as the Iron Age, is now ending, they wrote.

“The current exploitation phase in iron ore could last for a decade,” the analysts wrote. “Iron ore markets went through a 20-year period of declining prices in real terms during the previous exploitation phase that ended in 2004.”

The global surplus will more than triple to 163 million tons in 2015 from 52 million tons this year, according to Goldman. The glut was seen expanding to 245 million tons in 2016 295 million tons in 2017 and 334 million tons in 2018.

Producers’ View

The biggest suppliers see higher prices. Ore may increase as the higher-cost output exits the market, Nev Power, chief executive officer of Perth-based Fortescue (FMG) Metals Group Ltd., said in an Aug. 20 interview on Bloomberg Television. Vale SA also sees prices rebounding as supply growth slows and mines close, Jose Carlos Martins, the Rio de Janeiro-based company’s head of ferrous and strategy, said on July 31.

Iron ore may see a dramatic recovery this half, Paul Gait, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein, said in a report on July 9, citing factors including a seasonal increase in the second six months and an end to China’s policy tightening. Asia’s largest economy accounts for about 67 percent of seaborne demand.

Credit growth in China missed estimates in July and new-home prices fell in almost all the cities the government tracks, putting pressure on policy makers to step up stimulus as they seek to meet an economic growth target of 7.5 percent.

About 110 million tons of global supply will close next year and a further 75 million tons in 2016, Goldman estimated in the report. While the majority of closures would be in China, seaborne producers will not go unscathed, it said.

Exceed Demand’

“New seaborne iron ore supply delivered into China is expected to exceed demand growth over the next three to four years,” Daniel Kang, an analyst at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in Hong Kong, said by e-mail in response to Bloomberg questions. “In short, we see iron ore in a structural downtrend.”

Rio Tinto, the biggest supplier after Vale, plans to boost output to more than 330 million tons in 2015, according to a company estimate. Vale will raise production 8.4 percent to 348 million tons in 2015. BHP Billiton Ltd. sees an 8.9 percent increase from its Western Australian mines in the year from July 1, while Fortescue may boost shipments by 25 percent.

Fortescue’s stock declined 32 percent in Australia this year, while in London Rio shares lost 5 percent and BHP rose 0.4 percent. In Brazil, Vale dropped 23 percent.

“The shift into structural oversupply is barely six months old but seaborne prices have already declined 38 percent year-to-date,” Lelong and Cai wrote. “Rather than representing the trough for this cycle, we believe the downward pressure is set to continue.”

 

Lumber Liquidators Holdings

LL : NYSE : US$70.42

BUY 
Target: US$100.00

COMPANY DESCRIPTION:
Lumber Liquidators is the largest specialty retailer of hardwood
flooring in the U.S. The company offers premium hardwood
flooring products in a wide variety of domestic and exotic wood,
as well as engineered products, laminates, bamboo, cork, and
accessories. Lumber Liquidators assortment is largely comprised
of proprietary brands including the flagship Bellawood brand.

Consumer & Retail — Specialty Retail
MOMENTUM VANISHES IN Q2 PUSHING OUR ESTIMATES LOWER
Investment recommendation
We are lowering our Q2 EPS estimate from $0.94 to $0.61,
compared with guidance of $0.59-$0.61 and prior consensus of
$0.90. LL reported a Q2 SSS decline of 7.1% on top of +14.9%
versus expectations of +7%. Total customers invoiced declined
5% yr./yr., the steepest decline in three years. LL did not regain
momentum after difficult Q1 weather as we had anticipated, and
management is blaming macroeconomic factors. The 131 stores
impacted by weather experienced a SSS decline of 13%, with
non-impacted stores -2%. We are lowering our FY14 EPS
estimate from $3.35 to $2.70 on SSS -2.5% on top of +15.8% (we
had previously forecast +6.3%). We still project double-digit sales
and EPS growth over the long term, keeping us BUY rated. Given
consecutive quarterly EPS misses and limited near-term visibility,
we think investors will view LL as a show-me stock over the next
few months.
Investment highlights
 An inventory shortfall accounted for $18MM of Q2’s $47MM
revenue downfall versus our estimate. LL expects quality
assurance-related supply-chain issues to resolve in Q3.
 We are reducing our price target from $122 to $100 based on our discounted free cash flow model. This is a long-term target, and reflects our belief that LL’s model of better selection, service, and value should enable it to take market share

Arch Coal Expansion Halted At Supreme Court

Global Warming Texas
In a landmark decision on Friday that could have far-reaching implications for federal coal leasing, a U.S. District Court judge ruled against the expansion of Arch Coal’s West Elk mine in Colorado for failure of federal regulators to consider the social cost of carbon in their environmental review.
The decision issued by Judge Jackson of the U.S. District Court in Colorado found that the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service overlooked the costs of carbon emissions from the mining and combustion operations associated with the mine’s expansion even though the agencies acknowledged that expanding West Elk’s operations would likely result in greater greenhouse gas emissions.
Friday’s ruling is the result of a challenge brought by environmental groups contesting three agency decisions on the Colorado Roadless Rule and expansion of the West Elk mine in the Sunset Roadless Area. This region is a part of the treasured North Fork Valley backcountry in western Colorado which abuts the iconic West Elk Wilderness and is a destination for hikers and hunters and habitat for the threatened lynx.
The agencies’ decisions would have permitted Arch Coal to expand the West Elk Mine into 1,700 acres of the Sunset Roadless Area, the bulldozing of six miles of road, and the construction almost 50 well pads for the venting of methane from the mine expansion. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas and the second-most prevalent GHG emitted in the United States after carbon dioxide.
According to the decision, the BLM and Forest Service initially found that the social cost of carbon associated with the expansion could be as high as $984 million, but the agencies arbitrarily scrapped this analysis from the final environmental impact statement. However the associated benefits of the project were still included in the agencies’ analysis. The court called this error “more than a mere flyspeck.”
The ruling goes on to acknowledge that agencies are required to analyze the effects of their actions on climate change. The court noted that the BLM and Forest Service “acknowledged that there might be impacts from GHGs in the form of methane emitted from mining operations and from carbon dioxide resulting from combustion of coal produced,” and “this reasonably foreseeable effect must be analyzed.”
The decision was issued just in time before Arch Coal’s exploration activities were set to begin on July 1, and stops the expansion of the West Elk coal mine and any associated surface or below-ground activity, including bulldozing or construction, for now until the parties can agree on how to move forward.
Expanded coal leasing in the American West, particularly the coal-rich Powder River Basin in Wyoming and Montana, has been a hotly contested issue in recent years, with parties raising significant concerns over the climate effects of burning the coal mined in the region.
This court’s decision reminds agencies to consider climate impacts when making decisions affecting federal lands.

HudBay Minerals Update

HBM : TSX : C$8.81
BUY 
Target: C$12.00

COMPANY DESCRIPTION:
HudBay Minerals is an integrated Canadian zinc and copper producer with operating assets in Manitoba, and development or exploration properties elsewhere in Canada, in the U.S., and in Peru.
All amounts in C$ unless otherwise noted.

Metals and Mining — Base Metals and Minerals
2013 PRODUCTION A LITTLE WEAK, BUT 2014 GUIDANCE IN LINE AND CONSTANCIA ON TRACK
Event
HBM on January 8 released 2013 production and 2014 guidance. 2013 copper production’s miss against guidance is the aberration. 2014 production guidance is consistent with our forecasts. HBM confirmed Constancia’s budget and schedule, and provided surprisingly high 2014 production guidance (pre-commercial production) of 5,000-10,000 tonnes.
Impact
Our revised 2013-15E EBITDA forecasts are C$23 million, C$129 million, and C$485 million, which compare to our previous forecasts of C$32 million, C$129 million, and C$485 million. Our revised 2013-15E adj. dil. EPS forecasts are C$0.03, C$0.16, and C$1.08, from previous forecasts of C$0.07, C$0.15, and C$1.08.
Action and valuation
We are maintaining our BUY recommendation and our 12-month target of C$12.00, which is based on the average of: i) 5x our 2015E EV/EBITDA, which would imply a share price of C$11.97; and ii) our NPV10 estimate of C$11.62, (which includes C$7.79 for Constancia).
Next potential catalyst and investment risks
We are forecasting Q4/13 adjusted diluted EPS of negative (C$0.02) based on: i) payable zinc and copper sales of 24,400 tonnes and 7,800 tonnes, ii) realized zinc and copper prices of US$0.93/lb and US$3.31/lb (before treatment and refining charges, but after provisional pricing adjustments), and iii) after by-product credit costs of +US$1.41/lb of copper.

Monsanto Company

MON : NYSE : US$115.12
BUY 
Target: US$135.00

COMPANY DESCRIPTION:
Monsanto is a leading global provider of seeds, biotechnology traits, and glyphosates. The company operates two segments: Seeds and Genomics and Agricultural Productivity. The seeds and genomics segment consists primarily of soybeans, corn, cotton, and vegetable seed brands, as well as biotechnology traits that help control weeds and insects. The agricultural productivity segment consists of crop protection, including glyphosates.
All amounts in US$ unless otherwise noted.

Agriculture — Biotechnology
Q1/F14 EPS BEATS; ANNUAL GUIDANCE UNCHANGED
Investment recommendation
We believe investors should continue to own the shares of Monsanto due to its solid product platform and its strong growth prospects, both near and medium term. We expect the company to capitalize on its next generation products in South America, increased market share across the Americas, and margin gains across its core products. The initial 3M acre Brazilian launch of Intacta bodes well for a sales trajectory (product adoption) over the next few years. The expected launch into Argentina in 2015 should only augment that product’s positive outlook. We expect the Integrated Farming System segment to add a boost to the company’s earnings profile over the medium term. It is an intriguing business that rounds out their product offerings, a business that should offer investors continued share pricing gains in the years ahead as the business is rolled out and gains traction.
Investment highlights
 Monsanto reported adjusted Q1/F14 EPS of US$0.67 versus our estimate of US$0.63, and consensus of US$0.64. The results were mildly better than expected due to higher Agriculture Productivity gross profit, partially offset by higher opex. Total gross margin was reported at US$1.56 billion, above our US$1.38 billion estimate (Figure 1), while operating costs were US$1 billion versus our expectation of US$0.87 billion. The company confirmed F2014 EBITDA guidance at US$4.65-4.80 billion and F2014 EPS guidance of US$5.00-5.20, versus our estimate of US$5.13 and consensus of US$5.27.
Valuation
We continue to rate the shares of Monsanto a BUY, but have increased our target price to US$135.00 (from US$124.00 previously), based upon a 22.5x multiple to our F2015E EPS

Rio Tinto plc Expansion Plans

RIO: 3140p
Buy
Target: 4000p

Basic Resources – Mining – General Mining
Iron ore mine expansion to 350Mt unveiled
What’s new?
Rio Tinto management have outlined the route to fill the bulk of the 360Mt logistics capacity currently being developed A mix of brownfield expansions at various mines plus new greenfield mines at Silvergrass and, in the latter part of the decade, Koodaideri. Management is targeting 330Mt ore production in 2015 from with 350Mt capacity by 2017.
Impact 
Our current estimates had assumed that management would fill the new transport capacity on roughly this timetable. Our current assumptions see the Pilbara produce 282Mt in 2014 rising to 321Mt in 2015 and plateauing at 348Mt in 2017. We had assumed a RIO share of capex of US$6.6B to develop this mine output.
The volume estimates are broadly in line with the comments from management.
We had assumed that the mining capital cost intensity would be ~US$95/tonne on top of a logistics cost intensity of ~US$50/tonne. From the comments from RIO this morning the capital cost intensity of the mining assets looks to be ~US$70 – 80/tonne or 15 – 25% lower than the earlier estimate. This, all else equal, should mean net we can expect improved cash returns on cash invested from RIO over the latter part of the decade further bolstering its appeal.
Valuation
We retain our BUY recommendation and 4000p 12 month price target. We derive our price target using a mix of EV/EBITDA, P/CFPS and NAV based methodologies.
The main risk to our view is lower than expected iron ore prices. The announcement gives us increased confidence in our production forecasts for RIO through the next few years, increasing our conviction that the volume growth to
be delivered will drive falling EV/EBITDA mutliples and a rising dividend yield, underpinning RIO’s attractive current valuation.
Share performance catalyst
The next catalyst we expect is the investor presentations on Dec 2 (Australia) and Dec 11 (UK). After this we expect an agreement with the Mongolian government allowing underground development to restart will be the next operational catalyst.

VALE Update : Target Price Now $17.50

VALE : NYSE : US$14.76
BUY 
Target: US$17.50

COMPANY DESCRIPTION:
VALE is the largest seaborne exporter of iron ore and the world’s second largest nickel producer. The company also
produces copper, precious metals, manganese, ferroalloys, potash and other fertilizers, and has a large logistics business. The majority of operations are in Brazil and Canada.
All amounts in US$ unless otherwise noted

Metals and Mining — Senior Diversifieds
VALE SETTLES BRAZILIAN TAX ISSUE, REMOVING THE VALUATION OVERHANG
Event
Vale announced its participation in the federal tax settlement (REFIS) in Brazil for payment of amounts relating to net income of its non-Brazilian subsidiaries from 2003 to 2012. Participating in the REFIS will result in income tax payments of R$6bn at the end of November and R$16.4bn payable in 179 monthly installments.
Impact
Our revised 2013/14 adjusted EPS forecasts of US$2.69 and US$2.21 compare to our prior estimates of US$2.72 and US$2.30. Our revised 2013/14 EBITDA forecasts of US$22.0 billion and US$19.8 billion compare to our prior estimates of US$22.1 billion and US$19.8 billion.
Valuation
We are maintaining our BUY recommendation but decreasing our target price to US$17.50 (from US$18.50). Our US$17.50 target price is based on the average of: i) 6x our 2014E EV/EBITDA, which would imply a share price of US$18.35, and ii) our NPV10 estimate of US$16.55.
Next potential catalyst / Key risk
Vale noted that the tax payments will be funded from operating cashflow, without requiring additional debt financing. Given our current commodity price and operating and capex forecasts, we believe that additional financing may be required by 2015. However, we expect a full update of operating and capex guidance as part of Vale Day at the NYSE
on December 2.

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