The South32 Limited (ASX: S32) share price is edging higher today after the company released its results for the quarter ended 31 March.
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At the time of writing, the South32 share price is swapping hands for $2.89, up 0.7% from yesterday’s close of $2.87.
Let’s take a close look at what the company has been up to over the last quarter.
The quarter that’s been for South32
The South32 share price is in the green today after the mining company reported a good quarter for its cash position.
This was bolstered by increased commodity prices, strong operating performance and a reduction in working capital. South32’s cash balance increased by US$242 million over the quarter, leaving it with US$517 million in its coffers.
South32 received US$46 million of net distributions from its manganese equity-accounted investments. As well, US$40 million in cash and US$15 million in shares flowed in from selling assets to Elemental Royalties Corp.
The company executed an on-market buy-back of 42 million of its own shares for an average of $2.78 apiece during the quarter. It also paid US$66 million worth of fully franked dividends.
In further news impacting the South32 share price, the company advised its operating costs are continuing according to plan and capital expenditure guidance of US$515 million is unchanged.
South32 paid US$28 million towards exploration programs and development options in the nine months ended March 2021.
The company further advised US$23 million of expenditure is to be incurred by the company’s Dendrobium Next Domain (DND) life extension project over the coming quarter. Expenditure guidance for the project was previously withdrawn after South32’s DND plan was rejected by the Independent Planning Commission.
This quarter, South32 has continued its pre-feasibility study for the Taylor Deposit with work expected to be finished next quarter. It’s also conducting a scoping study at the Clark Deposit which is expected to be finished in the first half of the 2022 financial year.
The company is also continuing its divestment of South Africa Energy Coal. It will no longer be providing capital expenditure guidance for the project. The miner has continued to pay for the project this quarter to underpin its sustainability.
While the risk of COVID-19 is ongoing across most of South32’s explorations, drilling and fieldwork continued this quarter.
Commentary from management
South32 CEO Graham Kerr commented on the quarter that’s been for the company, saying:
We continue to reshape our portfolio, moving closer to the divestment of South Africa Energy Coal while progressing studies for our base metals development options.
Looking ahead, we expect the global economic recovery combined with fiscal stimulus to continue, driving a rebound in metal demand and sustaining higher prices for many of our key commodities.
South32 share price snapshot
South32 shares have been performing well on the ASX so far this year.
Currently, the South32 share price is up 15.4% year to date. It’s also up almost 52% over the last 12 months.
The company has a market capitalisation of $13.6 billion, with approximately 4.7 billion shares outstanding.
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Motley Fool contributor Brooke Cooper has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.