Shares of Freeport-McMoRan (FCX) - Get Report moved higher Friday after the international mining giant reported a narrower-than-expected loss and said it would shore up its balance sheet as the coronavirus-driven economic downturn takes a toll.
The Phoenix-based mining company's stock price at last check rose 4.4% to $8.15 a share
Freeport-McMoRan posted a first-quarter adjusted loss of 16 cents a share. That was stronger than the 23-cent loss estimated by analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research.
The company fell short of analyst expectations on revenue, though, with $2.7 billion for the first quarter, compared with the $2.9 billion estimate of analysts polled by Zacks.
FCX said it was also taking several steps to cut costs and preserve cash, suspending its quarterly 5-cent-a-share dividend payment that had been scheduled for May. The company now has no plans to make any dividend payments in 2020.
Freeport-McMoRan said it was also slashing capital expenditures by 30%, or $800 million, cutting administrative and exploration costs by 20%, or $100 million, and lowering overall operating costs by 18%, or $1.3 billion.
Overall, the mining giant is projecting a 15% drop in estimated copper-sales volumes in the Americas for 2020. That's a drop of 400 million pounds.
The company said it has also taken several steps to prevent the spread of the coronavirus at its mining complexes, including testing. And it suspended operations at its Chino copper mine in New Mexico after the spread of Covid-10 among a "limited" number of employees.
"The prudent steps we are taking to safeguard our business, address costs and capital spending, and preserve our strong liquidity position are necessary to protect long-term asset values in the current weak and uncertain economic environment," said Richard Adkerson, president and CEO of Freeport-McMoRan, in a statement.