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Freeport's (FCX) Earnings and Sales Beat Estimates in Q4

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Freeport-McMoRan Inc. (FCX - Free Report) reported net income (attributable to common stock) of $9 million or less than a penny per share in fourth-quarter 2019, down from $485 million or 33 cents in the year-ago quarter.  

Barring one-time items, adjusted earnings came in at 2 cents per share, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 1 cent.

Revenues rose 6.2% year over year to $3,911 million. The figure also surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3,790.8 million.

2019 Highlights

For 2019, the company reported net loss (attributable to common stock) of $239 million or 17 cents per share against net income of $2,602 million or $1.78 in the year-ago quarter.

Total revenues declined 22.7% year over year to $14,402 million.

Freeport-McMoRan Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Freeport-McMoRan Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Freeport-McMoRan Inc. price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | Freeport-McMoRan Inc. Quote

Operational Update

Copper production fell 1.7% year over year to 827 million pounds in the fourth quarter.

Consolidated sales from mines rose 15.4% year over year to 906 million pounds of copper. The company produced 223,000 ounces of gold and 21 million pounds of molybdenum during the fourth quarter.

Consolidated average unit net cash costs per pound of copper were $1.67, up 8.4% from $1.54 reported in the year-ago quarter. The upside mainly reflects lower production volumes emerging from continued ramping of production at PT-FI from its significant underground ore bodies and lower molybdenum by-product credits.

Average realized price for copper was $2.74 per pound, slightly down from $2.75 in the prior-year quarter. Average realized price per ounce for gold rose 18.8% year over year to $1,491. Average realized price per pound for molybdenum was $11.65, down 8.6% year over year.

Financial Position

Cash and cash equivalents at the end of 2019 were $2,020 million, down roughly 52% year over year. The company’s long-term debt was around $9,821 million, down 11.7% year over year.

Freeport’s operating cash flows for the full year declined 61.6% year over year to $1,482 million.


For 2020, Freeport anticipates consolidated sales volumes to be nearly 3.5 billion pounds of copper, 800,000 ounces of gold and 88 million pounds of molybdenum. This projection also includes 725 million pounds of copper, 105,000 ounces of gold and 22 million pounds of molybdenum for first-quarter 2020.

For 2020, the company expects operating cash flows of roughly $2.4 billion. Capital expenditures are expected to be around $2.8 billion, which includes $1.8 billion for major mining projects that are mainly related to underground development activities in Grasberg and completion of the Lone Star copper leach project in Arizona.

Price Performance

Freeport’s shares have inched up 0.1% in the past year compared with the industry’s 20.5% rise.


Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Freeport currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Few better-ranked stocks in the basic materials space are Daqo New Energy Corp. (DQ - Free Report) , Royal Gold, Inc. (RGLD - Free Report) and Bunge Ltd. (BG - Free Report) , each currently sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Daqo New Energy has projected earnings growth rate of 326.3% for 2020. The company’s shares have surged 70.2% in the past year.

Royal Gold has an estimated earnings growth rate of 83.5% for fiscal 2020. Its shares have returned 38.1% in the past year.    

Bunge has an expected earnings growth rate of 30.7% for 2020. The company’s shares have gained 6.1% in the past year.

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