BlueScope shares have jumped as much as 13.5 per cent after the steelmaker launched a new $250 million share buyback on the back of a 10 per cent half-on-half increase in first-half underlying earnings.
Managing director and chief executive Mark Vassella said BlueScope – which only recently completed a $250 million buyback launched after it more than doubled full-year profit – was now able to mix investment, acquisitions and shareholder returns thanks to the transformed business’s strong cash flows.
“Naturally we will always invest to maintain safe and reliable operations, and seek to retain strong credit metrics,” Mr Vassella said.
Australia’s largest steelmaker in August declared a net profit of $1.57 billion for the 12 months to June 30, a 119 per cent increase from a year ago.
It told shareholders at last week’s annual general meeting that first-half underlying EBIT would be about 10 per cent higher than the previous half’s $745.0 million.
BlueScope shares, which rocketed from about $2.80 in 2015 to $18.80 in July this year, were worth $11.23 before the start of trade on Monday.
They jumped as high as $12.475 before falling back slightly to $12.23 at 1135 AEDT, still up 8.9 per cent for the session.