Rio Tinto Axes CEO Upon $14B Write-Down: Hot Trends

Tickers in this article: BA BLK RIO

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Popular searches on the Internet include Rio Tinto (RIO) after the mining company axed CEO Tom Albanese after revealing a $14 billion write-down.

The charge pertains to the company's acquisitions of the Alcan aluminum group and Mozambican coal. While most of the charge pertains to the falling value of the company's aluminum assets, Rio Tinto took a $3 billion charge related to the Mozambique acquisition it made in 2011, something Rio Tinto Chairman Jan du Plessis called in statement "unacceptable."

Albanese will be replaced immediately by Sam Walsh, head of the company's main iron ore business. Doug Ritchie, who led the Mozambique acquisition, will also step down.

Rio said it expects further write-downs of about $500 million. It plans to release more details along with its annual earnings report next month.


BlackRock(BLK) is trending as the money manager reported fourth-quarter earnings that rose 24% from the year before.

BlackRock reported net income of $690 million, or $3.93 a share, from $555 million, or $3.05 a share a year earlier, beating estimates. The company attributed the increases to a boost by its exchange-traded funds.

A move by CEO Laurence Fink to create a series of lower-fee ETFs in October helped spark an increase in deposits by 42% to $35.7 billion in the fourth quarter. The company's assets also rose by 3.2% to $3.79 trillion. Performance fees, awarded for funds that beat certain benchmarks, also contributed to higher earnings in the quarter.

Shares of BlackRock have gained nearly 20% since mid-November.


Boeing(BA) is another popular search. European air-safety officials have decided to join those who are grounding the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner jets after a series of problems.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) announced it was adopting the directive ordered by the Federal Aviation Administration on Wednesday ordering all 787s to be taken out of service. The decision by EASA only affects two 787s used by Polish airline LOT, but it joins the U.S and Japan's transport ministry, which said this week that All Nippon Airways would not be flying all 17 of its Dreamliner jets and Japan Airlines would not be using all seven of its planes as well.

The FAA said in its directive that Boeing now had to "address a potential battery fire risk in the 787." Concerns about the safety of the 787 have only grew since a fire sparked on a plane parked at Boston's airport and an All Nippon Airways flight had to make an emergency landing after a cockpit message indicated the jet had battery problems and a burning smell arose.

Boeing has promised to work with the FAA to resolve these issues.


The chatter on Main Street (a.k.a. Google, Yahoo! and other search sites) is always of interest to investors on Wall Street. Thus, each day, TheStreet compiles the stories that are trending on the Web, and highlights the news that could make stocks move.