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

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold ( FCX) pushed the Metals & Mining industry higher today making it today's featured metals & mining winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.8%. By the end of trading, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold rose $0.45 (1.7%) to $27.30 on light volume. Throughout the day, 12,285,306 shares of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 20,497,300 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $27.02-$27.55 after having opened the day at $27.19 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $26.85. Other companies within the Metals & Mining industry that increased today were: Pacific Booker Minerals ( PBM), up 16.9%, United States Antimony Corporation ( UAMY), up 9.5%, Avino Silver & Gold Mines ( ASM), up 8.3% and Atlatsa Resources ( ATL), up 8.0%.

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. engages in the exploration of mineral resource properties. The company primarily explores for copper, gold, molybdenum, cobalt, silver, and other metals, such as rhenium and magnetite. Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold has a market cap of $25.9 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.9, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 21.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its good cash flow from operations, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share.

On the negative front, Great Basin Gold ( GBG), down 57.7%, Minco Gold Corporation ( MGH), down 15.6%, Cardero Resources Corporation ( CDY), down 12.7% and Polymet Mining ( PLM), down 11.4%.

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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