The New Orleans-based mining company said it lost $53.3 million, or 30 cents a share, compared with net income of $57.4 million, or 37 cents a share, in the same period last year. Sales fell to $486.3 million from $609.5 million in the second quarter last year.
The latest quarter included a loss of 20 cents a share associated with maintenance at the company's Atlantic Copper smelting unit in Spain. Excluding that loss, analysts had forecast a loss of 21 cents a share, according to Thomson First Call.
In addition, results were hurt by lower ore grades and reduced mill throughput as the company's Indonesian mining unit restored safe access to the higher-grade ore areas in its Grasberg open-pit mine following slippage and debris flow events in the fourth quarter of 2003.
With the Grasberg reopening, the company said it is "well positioned" to generate "strong" results in the second half of the year. "Our production is expected to increase throughout the year, which will result in our second-half 2004 copper and gold sales being more than double the first half of the year," the company said in a statement.
Freeport's shares were recently down 80 cents, or 2.26%, to $34.54.