Why Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold (FCX) Stock Is Up Today

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold  (FCX) rose Thursday after the largest publicly traded copper producer reported first-quarter earnings that beat analysts' expectations.

Net income dropped to $510 million, or 49 cents a share, from $648 million, or 68 cents a share, in the same period one year earlier. This beat the estimate of 42 cents a share from analysts polled by Bloomberg. Revenue also increased to $4.99 billion from $4.58 billion.

Freeport sold 16.1 million barrels of oil equivalent in the quarter, which beat the forecast of 15.3 million it set in January. This also helped offset decreased copper sales in Indonesia; the company reduced its operations at its Grasberg mine in Indonesia by approximately 50% after the nation imposed new restrictions on mineral exports.

The stock was up 2.15% to $34.22 at 11:36 a.m. on Thursday.

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Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates FREEPORT-MCMORAN COP&GOLD as a "hold" with a ratings score of C. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate FREEPORT-MCMORAN COP&GOLD (FCX) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed - some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. 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 feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, deteriorating net income and disappointing return on equity."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 7.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 30.4%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • Compared to where it was 12 months ago, the stock is up, but it has so far lagged the appreciation in the S&P 500. Despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year, there is currently no conclusive evidence that warrants the purchase or sale of this stock.
  • FREEPORT-MCMORAN COP&GOLD's earnings per share declined by 12.8% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. Earnings per share have declined over the last year. We anticipate that this should continue in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, FREEPORT-MCMORAN COP&GOLD reported lower earnings of $2.64 versus $3.18 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 0.8% in earnings ($2.62 versus $2.64).
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Metals & Mining industry. The net income has decreased by 4.8% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $743.00 million to $707.00 million.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: FCX Ratings Report

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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.

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