Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold
reported better-than-expected third-quarter earnings Wednesday, attributing the results to strength in its various metals and geographic locations.
The firm says it earned $775 million, or $1.87 a share, in the most recent quarter, including a gain of 2 cents a share for discontinued operations. In the same period a year earlier, earnings totaled $351 million, or $1.67 a share.
When nonrecurring items and discontinued operations were excluded from the latest quarter, the company earned $2.52 a share, which compared favorably to the consensus forecast of $2.26 a share.
"Our third-quarter performance reflects a continuation of positive market conditions for copper, gold and molybdenum, and strong operating results at our North American, South American and Indonesian operations," Freeport said in a press statement Wednesday.
Freeport's operations for the third quarter reflect the March acquisition of fellow miner Phelps Dodge. Because of that deal, revenue rose to $5.07 billion from $1.64 billion in the comparable 2006 quarter.
The New Orleans-based mining company saw copper sales from its mines climb to 949 million pounds from a pro forma 922 million pounds a year earlier. Gold sales totaled 269,000 ounces, down from a pro forma 510,000 ounces last year.
The price per pound of copper received was $3.53, up 21 cents from a year earlier. Gold fetched $692.43 an ounce, up from $611.94 a year ago.
Freeport said its pro forma consolidated sales volumes for this year, including pre-acquisition Phelps Dodge sales, should be roughly 3.9 billion pounds of copper, 2.3 million ounces of gold and 68 million pounds of molybdenum.
Projected sales volumes for the fourth quarter are around 875 million pounds of copper, 100,000 ounces of gold and 18 million pounds of molybdenum.