Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold (FCX): Today's Featured Basic Materials Laggard

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold ( FCX) pushed the Basic Materials sector lower today making it today's featured Basic Materials laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day down 1.1%. By the end of trading, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold fell $0.56 (-1.8%) to $31.07 on average volume. Throughout the day, 14,462,474 shares of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 11,959,600 shares. The stock ranged in price between $30.85-$31.84 after having opened the day at $31.33 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $31.63. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that declined today were: International Tower Hill Mines ( THM), down 12.5%, Rubicon Minerals ( RBY), down 10.4%, Lake Shore Gold ( LSG), down 10.1% and McEwen Mining ( MUX), down 9.2%.

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc., a natural resource company, is engaged in the acquisition of mineral assets, and oil and natural gas resources. The company primarily explores for copper, gold, molybdenum, cobalt, silver, and other metals, as well as oil and gas. Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold has a market cap of $32.7 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are down 16.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 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 robust revenue growth, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

On the positive front, Global Geophysical Services ( GGS), up 24.6%, Andatee China Marine Fuel Services Corporat ( AMCF), up 18.9%, WSP Holdings ( WH), up 15.4% and Synthesis Energy Sys ( SYMX), up 14.4% , were all gainers within the basic materials sector with Cheniere Energy ( LNG) being today's featured basic materials sector leader.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the basic materials sector could consider Materials Select Sector SPDR ( XLB) while those bearish on the basic materials sector could consider ProShares Short Basic Materials Fd ( SBM).

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