Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Freeport-McMoRan Surgess to 52 Week High on Earnings

Freeport-McMoRan (FCX) is a big miner of copper and gold and a favorite of Stone Fox Capital. They are possibly one of the best run mining companies in the world. With China being the largest user of copper, it stands to reason that copper will benefit from their rapidly expanding economy. Not to mention that FCX has a large gold operation and $1,000+ gold prices is a big help.

Today FCX reported earnings that easily topped analyst estimates and even soared 77% above last years results. Even more impressive is that they achieved the earnings gain with lower revenue. Its also amazing how the CEO talked so much about the weakness in the marketplace and yet they made huge profits. Imagine what it'll be like when the US economy is good enough to start building houses.

Some snippets from an AP report:

  • Freeport-McMoRan cut production and delivery costs by 40 percent over the past three months, generating gains that more than offset a quarterly decline in revenue.
  • Sales fell 10 percent to $4.14 billion, down from $4.62 billion last year.
  • Earnings jumped 77 percent to $925 million, or $2.07 per share, from $523 million, or $1.31 per share, a year ago.
  • That easily beat analyst expectations of $1.34 per share, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters.
  • Argus Research analyst Bill Selesky said the company's higher gold prices offset lower year-over-year copper prices.
At $82 this afternoon, we're clearly not looking to add more shares, but its definitely a stock to hold even at a 52 week high. This stock shows every sign of approaching the old high around $120. Sterlite Industries (SLT) is another copper play that is a big holding of our portfolios. Not sure what to make of the stagnant trade in SLT today.

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