Forrest in $ 654m payday from the Fortescue surprise dividend

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Forrest's overall dividend payments will reach $ 981 million after Fortescue's cash flow generation skyrocketed in the March quarter, fueled by a 47% increase in the average realized iron ore price of $ US71 ( $ 102.20) per ton.

JPMorgan said that Fortescue surprised the market with an advance declaration on its final dividend.

Although the company has not ruled out even paying a final dividend, JPMorgan said it expects nothing more in August, when Fortescue will announce the results for the entire year.

Fortescue was sitting on a postage credit of $ 1.7 billion as of December 31, which gave him the ability to declare fully excluded dividends of over $ 4 billion.

Chief Executive Elizabeth Gaines said Tuesday that it was not a difficult decision to declare the last dividend, although Fortescue pushed the "go" on Iron Bridge's $ 2.6 billion magnetite project to April and is proceeding with the development of its $ US1.2 Eliwana Mine in Western Australia.

"Fortescue has a significant postage balance, there has been a lot of media speculation about companies like Fortescue with large postage credits and we have taken the decision to accelerate the distribution of postage credits to eligible shareholders," he said.

"The time is such that we are making sure that that dividend is declared and paid before June 30th."

If the polls are correct and Labor wins on Saturday, the deadline for excess postage credits to be paid as cash rebates to low tax investors could be June 30th. The Fortescue dividend will be paid on June 14th.

Ms. Gaines said that Fortescue "generates postage credits every day as we continue to pay taxes" and would continue its policy of paying fully-paid dividends regardless of changes in government policy.

Speaking from Barcelona, ​​where she will attend a Bank of America Merrill Lynch mining conference, Ms. Gaines said she personally had no preferences as to which important party was in government, but hoped for a clear victory in both cases.

"My personal opinion is that I think it would be better to have certainty in terms of results," he said.

"We are happy to work with anyone in the government and we will do it cooperatively."

Gaines said that a clear victory would provide political certainty and that, in turn, would give confidence in investment decisions.

The analyst at Shaw and Partners, Peter O & Connor, said the latest dividend underlined Fortescue's solid balance sheet and capital management, with times influenced by the prospect of Labor making changes in the postage credit policy.

O & # 39; Connor said that key management decisions include the suspension of a share buyback program while the share price has soared in recent months.

Fortescue acquired $ 139 million in shares at an average price of $ 4 apiece in the first half.

The company's stock price, starting at $ 3.53 in September, rose more than 7% on Tuesday to close at $ 8.09.

Fortescue stated that the dividend distribution policy is unchanged at 50-80% of net profit after tax.

Analysts predict that the profits for the entire year of Fortescue will reach around US $ 2.25 billion, depending on iron ore prices.

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