Analyst Favorites: Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold Ranks As a Top Metals Pick

A study of analyst recommendations at the major brokerages shows that Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold ( FCX) is the #9 broker analyst pick, on average, out of the 50 stocks making up the Metals Channel Global Mining Titans Index, according to Metals Channel. The Metals Channel Global Mining Titans Index is comprised of the top fifty global leaders from the metals and mining sector. The companies listed in the Metals Channel Global Mining Titans Index are not fixed, but instead variable — updating on a continuous basis to reflect the changing market environment with respect to commodity prices, government policy and market volatility.

In forming this rank, the analyst opinions from the major brokerage houses were tallied, and averaged; then, the underlying components of the Metals Channel Global Mining Titans Index were ranked according to those averages. Investors often interpret analyst opinions from different angles — a popular analyst pick could mean that many sharp minds individually came to the same bullish conclusion, and therefore the stock should do well, but it could also mean that if the company stumbles, that would come as a negative surprise.

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Analyst Favorites of the Metals Channel Global Mining Titans Index »

From the other direction, when companies have a low rank among analysts, it isn't necessarily the case that investors should conclude that the stock will perform poorly. It can, of course, but a bullish investor could also take the contrarian angle and read into the data that there is lots of room for upside because the stock is so out of favor.

According to the ETF Finder at ETF Channel, FCX makes up 7.39% of the First Trust ISE Global Copper Index Fund ETF (CU) which is trading lower by about 0.1% on the day Thursday.

FCX operates in the Non-Precious Metals & Non-Metallic Mining sector, among companies like Ternium S A (TX) which is off about 1% today, and Vale S.A. (VALE) trading lower by about 1.2%. Below is a three month price history chart comparing the stock performance of FCX, versus TX and VALE.

FCX,TX,VALE Relative Performance Chart

FCX is currently trading off about 1.6% midday Thursday.

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