Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Rio Tinto (RIO) to Hold

Rio Tinto (NYSE:RIO) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Wednesday.

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. “

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RIO has been the subject of several other research reports. HSBC cut shares of Rio Tinto from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 16th. UBS reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Rio Tinto in a research note on Monday, March 5th. Argus increased their price target on shares of Rio Tinto to $61.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, February 14th. Jefferies Group set a $69.00 price target on shares of Rio Tinto and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, February 15th. Finally, Cowen reissued a “market perform” rating and issued a $61.00 price target (up previously from $54.00) on shares of Rio Tinto in a research note on Thursday, January 18th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the stock. Rio Tinto presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $56.73.

Rio Tinto stock opened at $56.56 on Wednesday. Rio Tinto has a 1-year low of $37.66 and a 1-year high of $59.25. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.30, a current ratio of 1.71 and a quick ratio of 1.40. The company has a market capitalization of $73,730.95, a PE ratio of 11.81 and a beta of 1.16.

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

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