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6 Stocks Driving the Economy in 2012

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold (FCX)

Company Profile: Freeport-McMoRan is a copper, gold and molybdenum miner with assets around the world. Its portfolio includes the Grasberg minerals district in Indonesia, mining operations in North and South America and the Tenke Fungurume (Tenke) minerals district in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Share Price: $44.47 (Jan. 18 Close)

Year-to-Date Increase: About 21.9%

TheStreet Ratings Grade: Buy. Freeport-McMoRan is "extremely" liquid, says TheStreet Ratings team. Its quick ratio of 2.07 shows that the miner can cover any short-term cash needs.

Goldman Sach's View: Freeport-McMoRan on Thursday provided sales volume guidance that wasn't quite as robust as Goldman had hoped; but analyst Sal Tharani remains optimistic about the miner's prospects. "We believe that the company is being conservative as usual and that guidance will increase throughout the year," said Tharani. Freeport on Jan. 19 lowered its 2012 sales guidance for copper to 3.8 billion pounds from 3.9 billion. However, it raised its projections for gold to 1.2 million ounces and left them unchanged for molybdenum.

Fourth-quarter earnings came in at 67 cents a share, beating both Goldman Sach's estimate of 65 cents and the consensus estimate of 60 cents, mainly thanks to good sales volume.

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Stock quotes in this article: ^CYC, SHLD, MGA, MAS, FCX, AA, WHR 

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