Tim Brown: Freeport Makes the Grade - TheStreet

Football is a physical game. It is a game of strength and skill. It pits some of the biggest and strongest men in the world up against each other. Many view it as a brutal sport that is more brawn than brains.

Yes, there is no doubt the physical component is huge. Your body takes a pounding. But those who discount the brains involved are surely uninformed. Pure skill can carry players at lower levels of the sport. However, there is a tremendous amount of preparation required to play pro football. It's certainly not a cakewalk in the National Football League

To perform at the highest level in the world, you have to prepare. That includes two-a-days in the summer heat during camp. It also involves hours watching film and studying your opponent's tendencies.

Each week, my team had a game plan. Our coaches developed it from watching film of the team we were facing that week. Our main objectives were simple: keep them off the scoreboard by shutting down their biggest offensive threats and exploit their defensive and special team's weaknesses to score as often as possible.

To execute that game plan, we needed to do our homework, to learn the game plan in and out and to know as much about the tendencies of the opponent as possible. When I was playing, we watched film of the other team's defense to see where they took shortcuts or where their defensive players were weak.

My point is that whether investing in stocks or playing football, I put the time in to do it right and do my homework. It's the only way. No half-hearted measures allowed.

Today I'm looking in

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold's

(FCX) - Get Report

direction. Freeport is in the business of exploration, mining, and production of minerals, mainly in Indonesia, North and South America, and Africa. The company focuses on copper, gold, molybdenum, and silver.

Conditions appear to be turning in the right direction for mining stocks. The TSX Mines & Metals subindex has fallen dramatically since its late June high.

And I like the valuations for this company and its stat sheet. Most of all, I like that it was recently trading at just $92.15, down about $1.50 in midday trading. In the last year, this stock has been on the upswing -- up 11.2%. I know you are supposed to buy low and sell high, but I think this stock has a long way to go ups before peaking. Its 52-week range is $68.96-$127.24.

On the books, the company has $5.1 billion in operating cash flow and $1.65 a share in cash. It has a forward price-to-earnings ratio of just 7.27, meaning not everyone on the Street has recognized that it is a good play at this price yet; they are not all that confident in this stock yet. In that respect, it's a good play because the crowd hasn't jumped on its bandwagon yet.

However, this company does have more than 95% institutional ownership. Institutions are generally considered long-term, buy-and-hold shareholders and do their due diligence when selecting a stock. The fact that so many have chosen this one is reassuring.

I think this pick puts us in great position to go in for the score.

Keep moving the chains!

At the time of publication, Brown had no positions in stocks mentioned, although positions may change at any time.

Tim Brown played 16 seasons in the NFL, where he made nine Pro Bowls. After a brief stint with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2004, Brown retired as an Oakland Raider. He was a Heisman Trophy winner in college for Notre Dame.