The company said after the bell Wednesday it would pay a 25-cent dividend on Sept. 3 to shareholders of record on Aug. 13.
The dividend had been suspended after the company's payment on Sept. 7, 2001.
"Our first quarter earnings and cash flows were robust, reflecting tight supplies of copper throughout the world," said Chairman and CEO J. Steven Whisler. "Copper market fundamentals and copper prices -- an important factor in our earnings -- are expected to remain strong. We expect to report a good second quarter, and it is clearly appropriate that our shareholders participate in our profitability."
In its latest first quarter, Phelps saw its net income rise to $185.7 million, or $1.90 a share, from a loss of $15 million, or 21 cents a share, a year earlier. Sales rose to $1.6 billion from $978 million.
Copper prices have risen substantially since futures traded below 65 cents a pound in late 2002. Though it has moved off recent multi-year highs near $1.40, it continues to trade above $1.20 a pound.