Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold (FCX): Today's Featured Metals & Mining Laggard

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold ( FCX) pushed the Metals & Mining industry lower today making it today's featured Metals & Mining laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.6%. By the end of trading, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold fell 62 cents (-1.6%) to $38.67 on average volume. Throughout the day, 12.9 million shares of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 15.4 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $38.41-$39.45 after having opened the day at $39.21 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $39.29. Other companies within the Metals & Mining industry that declined today were: China Shen Zhou Mining & Resources ( SHZ), down 14.2%, Aurizon Mines ( AZK), down 11.6%, China Precision Steel ( CPSL), down 10.2%, and Oxford Resource Partners ( OXF), down 9.2%.
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Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. engages in the exploration, mining, and production of mineral resources. The company primarily explores for copper, gold, molybdenum, cobalt hydroxide, silver, and other metals, such as rhenium and magnetite. Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold has a market cap of $38.31 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.1, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 9.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 16 analysts that rate Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, attractive valuation levels, expanding profit margins, notable return on equity and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

On the positive front, Exeter Resource Corporation ( XRA), up 23.2%, Northern Dynasty Minerals ( NAK), up 11.4%, International Tower Hill Mines ( THM), up 10.8%, and United States Antimony Corporation ( UAMY), up 9.9%, were all gainers within the metals & mining industry with Eldorado Gold ( EGO) being today's featured metals & mining industry leader.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the metals & mining industry could consider SPDR S&P Metals & Mining ETF ( XME) while those bearish on the metals & mining industry could consider PowerShares DB Base Metals Sht ETN ( BOS).

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