Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold (FCX)

Q3 2011 Earnings Call

October 19, 2011 10:00 am ET

Executives

Kathleen L. Quirk - Chief Financial Officer, Executive Vice President, Treasurer and Commissioner of PT Freeport Indonesia

Mark J. Johnson - Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Indonesian Operations

Richard C. Adkerson - Chief Executive Officer, President, Director and Chairman of FM Services Company

Analysts

Brian Yu - Citigroup Inc, Research Division

Jorge M. Beristain - Deutsche Bank AG, Research Division

Sanil Daptardar - Centennial Asset Management

Brian MacArthur - UBS Investment Bank, Research Division

Oscar Cabrera - BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division

Anthony B. Rizzuto - Dahlman Rose & Company, LLC, Research Division

Paretosh Misra - Morgan Stanley, Research Division

Isabel Darrigrandi - Celfin Capital, Research Division

Richard Garchitorena - Crédit Suisse AG, Research Division

Kuni M. Chen - CRT Capital Group LLC, Research Division

Michael F. Gambardella - JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division

Unknown Analyst -

Sal Tharani - Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Research Division

Presentation

Operator

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by. Welcome to the Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Third Quarter Earnings Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] I would now like to turn the conference over to Ms. Kathleen Quirk, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Please go ahead, ma'am.

Kathleen L. Quirk

Thank you. Good morning, everyone, and welcome to the Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Third Quarter 2011 Earnings Conference Call. Our results were released earlier this morning and a copy of the press release is available on our website at fcx.com. Our conference call today is being broadcast live on the Internet, and anyone may listen to the call by accessing our website homepage and clicking on the webcast link for the conference call. As usual, we have several slides to supplement our comments this morning and you can access the slides by using the webcast link on fcx.com.

In addition to analysts and investors, the financial press has been invited to listen to today's call, and a replay of the webcast will be available on our website later today. Before we begin today's comments, we'd like to remind everyone that today's press release and certain of our comments on this call will include forward-looking statements. We'd like to refer everyone to the cautionary language included in our press release and presentation materials and to the risk factors described in our SEC filings.

On the call with me today is Richard Adkerson, President and Chief Executive Officer; Jim Bob Moffett, Chairman of the Board. We also have Mark Johnson with us today and also Rick Coleman, who manages our expansion and construction activities.

I'll start by briefly summarizing the financial results, and then turn the call over to Richard who will review our recent performance and outlook. As usual, after our remarks, we'll open the call for questions.

Today, FCX reported third quarter 2011 net income attributable to common stock of $1.1 billion or $1.10 per share, compared with $1.2 billion or $1.24 per share, for the third quarter of 2010. Our third quarter results included additional tax provision of approximately $50 million or $0.05 a share associated with Peru's new mine tax and royalty regime. For the first 9 months of 2011, we reported net income attributable to common stock of $3.9 billion or $4.10 per share, compared with $2.7 billion or $2.94 per share, for the comparable period of 2010. Our third quarter 2011 consolidated copper sales of 947 million pounds was slightly higher than what we estimated in July of 940 million pounds, primarily because of the timing of shipments in North America. As anticipated, third quarter 2011 sale -- copper sales were lower than the prior year quarter sales, primarily because of lower sales in Indonesia and South America, partly offset by higher production and sales from North America.

Our third quarter 2011 consolidated gold sales of 409,000 ounces were slightly below our previous estimate of 415,000 ounces and lower than the third quarter 2010 sales of 497,000 ounces. That primarily reflected lower Grasberg production. Third quarter 2011 consolidated molybdenum sales of 19 million pounds were higher than our July estimate of 18 million pounds and also higher than last year's third quarter sales of 17 million pounds.

During the third quarter of 2011, our production and sales of copper and gold were adversely affected by labor disruptions at PT Freeport Indonesia. The estimated impact on our third quarter 2011 production, including the 8-day strike in July 2011, and the ongoing strike that commenced on September 15 totaled approximately 70 million pounds of copper and 100,000 ounces of gold in the third quarter. Without these impacts, our third quarter 2011 sales in Grasberg would have exceeded our forecasted production and sales because of access to higher grade ore previously scheduled to be mined in future periods. We've also developed revised operating plans to produce and ship concentrates at modified levels with a reduced workforce and we sold concentrate from inventory during the third quarter, which partly mitigated the lower production levels. Our realized price for copper in the third quarter of 2011 averaged $3.60 per pound. That was $0.10 higher than our realized price of $3.50 per pound in the third quarter of 2010. For gold, our recorded realization averaged approximately $1,693 per ounce in the third quarter of 2011. It was higher than last year's realization of $1,266 per ounce. Our third quarter molybdenum price of $16.34 per pound was similar to the year-ago period. Our consolidated average unit net cash cost during the third quarter averaged $0.80 per pound. That was lower than last year's unit net cash cost of $0.82 per pound in last year's third quarter. Higher site production delivery costs reflected lower copper sales volume in Indonesia and South America and increased mining and milling activities in North America.

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