Rio Tinto (RIO) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Rio Tinto (NYSE:RIO) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report released on Wednesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Rio Tinto PLC is an international mining company. The Company has interests in mining for aluminum, borax, coal, copper, gold, iron ore, lead, silver, tin, uranium, zinc, titanium, dioxide feedstock, diamonds, talc and zircon. RTZ’s various mining operations are located in New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Europe and Canada. “

Other equities research analysts also recently issued reports about the stock. HSBC raised shares of Rio Tinto from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Wednesday. Jefferies Group reissued a buy rating and issued a $68.00 price objective on shares of Rio Tinto in a research report on Monday, April 9th. UBS reissued a buy rating on shares of Rio Tinto in a research report on Monday, March 5th. Argus increased their price objective on shares of Rio Tinto to $61.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, February 14th. Finally, Cowen reissued a market perform rating and issued a $61.00 price objective (up from $54.00) on shares of Rio Tinto in a research report on Thursday, January 18th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $56.73.

Shares of NYSE:RIO opened at $56.60 on Wednesday. Rio Tinto has a 52 week low of $37.66 and a 52 week high of $59.25. The company has a quick ratio of 1.40, a current ratio of 1.71 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.30.

The business also recently announced a semiannual dividend, which was paid on Thursday, April 12th. Investors of record on Friday, March 2nd were given a $1.7955 dividend. This represents a dividend yield of 6.68%. This is an increase from Rio Tinto’s previous semiannual dividend of $1.26. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, March 1st. Rio Tinto’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 23.17%.

Rio Tinto declared that its board has approved a share buyback plan on Wednesday, February 7th that authorizes the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the mining company to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are generally a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of RIO. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company grew its position in shares of Rio Tinto by 212.1% in the 2nd quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 3,187 shares of the mining company’s stock valued at $135,000 after buying an additional 2,166 shares during the last quarter. Mackenzie Financial Corp purchased a new position in shares of Rio Tinto in the 4th quarter valued at $212,000. Advisor Partners LLC purchased a new position in shares of Rio Tinto in the 4th quarter valued at $219,000. Burney Co. purchased a new position in shares of Rio Tinto in the 4th quarter valued at $238,000. Finally, River Road Asset Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Rio Tinto in the 4th quarter valued at $240,000. 7.20% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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About Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto plc is a mining and metals company. The Company’s business is finding, mining and processing mineral resources. The Company’s segments include Iron Ore, Aluminium, Copper & Diamonds, Energy & Minerals and Other Operations. The Company operates an iron ore business, supplying the global seaborne iron ore trade.

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