A surprise windfall for investors in Rio Tinto. The mining giant revealed a 15% hike in its dividend after reporting a huge jump in second-half profit. Rio met or exceeded all the targets set out by CEO Sam Walsh for 2013—such as cutting capital spending by 26%, slashing over $2 billion of costs and reducing its net debt. That helped boost cash flows by 22 percent to $20.1 billion for the full year. This all puts the company in a strong position for a big capital return in 2015.