Freeport McMoRan Copper Sinks

Shares drop after earnings.
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Freeport-McMoRan Copper

(FCX) - Get Report

earnings more than doubled in the third quarter, thanks to soaring gold and copper prices.

Shares dropped 3.4%.

The New Orleans-based mining company earned $350.7 million, or $1.67 a share, up from $165.8 million, or 86 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Adjusted for items, earnings were $1.73 a share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call had forecast earnings of $1.59 a share in the most recent quarter.

Revenue rose 66.4% to $1.64 billion from the same period, a year ago. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were expecting a revenue of $1.31 billion.

Freeport expects sales for 2006 of about 1.2 billion pounds of copper and 1.7 million ounces of gold, including 415 million pounds of copper and 470 thousand ounces of gold estimated for the fourth quarter.

Sales for PT Freeport Indonesia, Freeport McMoRan's Indonesian mining unit, totaled 323.6 million pounds of copper and 478 thousand ounces of gold, exceeding previous estimates reported in July 2006 of 280 million pounds of copper and 320 thousand ounces of gold.

The average realized price per pound for copper was $3.43 in the quarter, compared with $1.73 a year ago. For gold, the average realized price was $608.57 compared with $445.79 a year ago.

Shares of the company were down $1.85 at $56.14 Tuesday.

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