RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Brazilian miner Vale SA reported on Thursday a third-quarter net profit of $3.9 billion, significantly below analysts’ forecasts of $6.2 billion, due to lower iron ore prices and an impairment at its coal business.
While Vale’s net income fell by almost half from the previous quarter, it surged 34% when compared with a year-ago period.
Vale, one of the world’s biggest iron ore miners, said its quarterly numbers were dented by iron ore prices that plunged 31% in the reported period, as well as a labor disruption at its Sudbury nickel mine in Canada that led to a hit in production.
The miner said it had an impairment charge in its coal business that totaled almost $2 billion, but did not give further details.
In the previous quarter, the company had disclosed a writedown on its coal assets resulting from a “lower long-term price assumption for metallurgical and thermal coal.”
Vale, one of the largest companies in Brazil, said on Thursday it would buy back 200 million shares, or about 4.1% of the firm’s outstanding shares.
“The new program reflects the confidence of the company’s management in Vale’s potential to create and share value in a consistent way.”
The company reported adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) of $6.9 billion.
(Reporting by Roberto Samora, Marta Nogueira and Marcelo Rochabrun; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)