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Re: [sharechat] What's your favourite Australian share?

From: "" <>
Date: Thu, 23 Jan 2003 22:32:26 +0000

Hi ryanrite and Winner69,
>winner wrote:
>>Mate, presume you views on BHP Billiton have not changed?
>Is that the BHP that lost a billion dollars??

You have a long memory Winner69, and so does ryanrite!   I still like 
BHP Billiton  (I think it was my entry in Dicks pick your favourite 
share thread a year ago), but it is not my absolute favourite this 
time around.   Stack it up against any managed diversified 
resource fund and I think BHP Billiton still shapes up pretty well 

But there is that matter of the billion dollar loss within the last 
five years that spoils the unbroken string of higher profits I 
alluded to in my qualifying criteria.  However, even that loss didn't 
interrupt the cashflow of the company.   So there was never any 
question the dividend would be cut, and it wasn't!  There aren't many 
companies down under that can shrug off a billion dollar loss, but 
BHP is one of them.

I've been following the sudden departure of Chief Executive Brian 
Gilbertson in the news.  Apparently he's been off tramping in the 
jungles of Tasmania looking for the Tasmanian devil.  I wonder if 
there is any truth in the rumour that the BHP board suggested if he 
take a mirror along in his kit he just might see one?  I'm pleased 
Gilbertson's gone as I have seen too many companies wrecked by 
grandiose plans designed to boost the salaries of the senior 
executives by increasing the size of the business they manage, 
whether it is for the good of the shareholders or not.

Methinks it is time to bed in the 'BHP' 'Billiton' marriage first!

All told I'm down about 15% on my investment in BHP Billiton over the 
last year.  Probably 25% if you take the currency loss into account 
too.  But such is the swings and roundabouts of a growth share.  I'm 
happy just to go on just holding it, knowing that those guys in 
BHP senior management are probably far better qualified to know what 
sectors of the resource market I should be in than I am!


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