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Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold (FCX): Today's Featured Metals & Mining Winner

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold (FCX) pushed the Metals & Mining industry higher today making it today's featured metals & mining winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.8%. By the end of trading, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold rose 64 cents (1.8%) to $35.49 on light volume. Throughout the day, 12.7 million shares of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 19.5 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $34.72-$35.55 after having opened the day at $34.87 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $34.85. Other companies within the Metals & Mining industry that increased today were: Timberline Resources Corporation (TLR), up 12.4%, USEC (USU), up 9.5%, Alderon Iron Ore (AXX), up 7.7%, and Uranium Resources (URRE), up 7.2%.

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Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. engages in the exploration, mining, and production of mineral resources. The company primarily explores for copper, gold, molybdenum, cobalt hydroxide, silver, and other metals, such as rhenium and magnetite. Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold has a market cap of $33.39 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.4, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 2.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are nine analysts that rate Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and four rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

On the negative front, Gold Reserve (GRZ), down 6.1%, China Gengsheng Minerals (CHGS), down 6%, Prospect Global Resources (PGRX), down 4.8%, and Primero Mining (PPP), down 4.5%, were all laggards within the metals & mining industry with Randgold Resources (GOLD) being today's metals & mining industry laggard.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the metals & mining industry could consider SPDR S&P Metals & Mining ETF (XME) while those bearish on the metals & mining industry could consider PowerShares DB Base Metals Sht ETN (BOS).

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