February 15, 2012 / 12:57 AM / in 6 years

Australia's Fortescue H1 profit surges to $801 mln

MELBOURNE, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Fortescue Metals Group , Australia’s third largest iron ore miner, nearly tripled its half-year net profit but cut its production guidance for the quarter because of disruptions caused by cyclones.

Net profit for July-December 2011 rose to $801 million from $314 million a year earlier and under a consensus forecast of $840 million.

Fortescue’s shares have jumped 11 percent to a five-month high over the past week after a mystery buyer snapped up at least a 2.9 percent stake.

Canadian metals and coal miner Teck Resources, which has long eyed adding iron ore to its portfolio, may have been the buyer, according to one media report. However analysts doubt the company would make a play for Fortescue.

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