“Some investors were expecting very ugly results this quarter from TCK and bad guidance - and while the results are weaker than we forecast they aren't as bad as some feared,” Greg Barnes, an analyst with TD Mining Research, said in a research note.
He said the deferrals announced by Teck were “In line with the global peers,” and that most of them, some $1.2 billion, would come in 2013.
Projects affected by the deferral include its Quebrada Blanca (phase two) and Relincho copper projects in Chile, its Fort Hills oilsands project in Alberta, and the Trail zinc operations in British Columbia.
It said it was also considering a delay of a number of other projects.
“Ongoing economic uncertainties in Europe and the United States and less robust growth rates in China, India and other emerging markets have impacted both demand and prices for some of our products,” the company said.
“In the meantime, the Company's financial position is strong and we continuously monitor all aspects of our key markets as conditions evolve in order to be in a position to take whatever actions may be appropriate.”
The question being posed by many analysts and investors is what Teck plans to do with its large and building cash position, currently at around $4.2-billion, and some speculate the company might turn to acquisitions.