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Bear of the Day: Freeport-McMoRan (FCX)

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Freeport-McMoRan (FCX - Free Report) shares recently touched 2-year lows as the global economy comes to a screeching halt and commodity inflation takes a dive.
 
Based on projected gold and copper prices, the $17 billion metals miner is expected to see revenues drop 22.7% to $14.5 billion this year.
 
And earnings are expected to plunge 55% from $1.66 to just $0.75.
 
When the company reports on January 24, analysts project FCX to deliver a Q4 year-over-year decline in earnings on nearly 23% lower revenues for the same period.  
 
The miner is expected to post quarterly earnings of $0.22 per share in its upcoming report, which represents a year-over-year change of -57%.
 
Downward Estimate Revisions Trend
 
The consensus EPS estimate for the quarter has been revised 17.24% lower over the last 30 days to the current level. This is essentially a reflection of how the covering research analysts have collectively reassessed their initial estimates over this period.
 
Investors should keep in mind that the direction of estimate revisions by each of the covering analysts may not always get reflected in the aggregate change.
 
While it's possible that FCX could deliver a positive surprise vs. these lowered expectations, any results and corresponding outlook must be viewed in the context of peak global growth remaining in the review mirror as China and Europe slip closer to economic recession.
 
Could recent stimulus measures by the Chinese government and central bank help reflate and support the Chinese economy?
 
They certainly could. But it probably won't help the revenue and earnings outlook for FCX in the first half of this year.
 
Before you consider buying FCX, keep your eyes on the EPS revisions to signal a turn in the growth outlook.
 
The Zacks Rank will let you know.
 
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