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Freeport's (FCX) Q1 Earnings In-Line, Sales Lag Estimates

Freeport-McMoRan Inc. FCX recorded net income (attributable to common stock) of $718 million or 48 cents per share in first-quarter 2021 versus a loss of $491 million or 34 cents in the year-ago quarter.

Barring one-time items, adjusted earnings per share came in at 51 cents, in-line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate.

Revenues rose roughly 73% year over year to $4,850 million. The figure missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $4,865.3 million.

The mining giant benefited from higher realized prices and lower costs in the quarter.

FreeportMcMoRan Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise


FreeportMcMoRan Inc. price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | FreeportMcMoRan Inc. Quote


Operational Update

Copper production rose 24.5% year over year to 910 million pounds in the first quarter.

Consolidated sales from mines rose 13.2% year over year to 825 million pounds of copper. The company sold 258,000 ounces of gold and 21 million pounds of molybdenum during the quarter.

Consolidated average unit net cash costs per pound of copper were $1.39, down about 36.7% year over year, mainly owing to higher sales volumes and by-product credits.

Average realized price for copper was $3.94 per pound, up roughly 62.1% year over year. Average realized price per ounce for gold increased around 6.7% year over year to $1,713. Average realized price per pound for molybdenum was $11.62, up around 4.7% year over year.

Financial Position

Cash and cash equivalents at the end of first quarter were $4,580 million, up 25.2% year over year. The company’s long-term debt was $9,153 million, down around 5.4% year over year.

Cash flows provided by operations were $1,075 million for the first quarter of 2021.


For 2021, Freeport anticipates consolidated sales volumes to be roughly 3.85 billion pounds of copper.

The company also expects gold sales volumes of 1.3 million ounces for 2021. It also expects sales of 85 million pounds of molybdenum for the year.

For the second quarter of 2021, Freeport expects sales volumes to be 975 million pounds of copper, 330,000 ounces of gold and 21 million pounds of molybdenum.

Price Performance

Freeport’s shares have rallied 359.7% in the past year compared with 201.2% rise of the industry.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

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

Some better-ranked stocks in the basic materials space are Fortescue Metals Group Limited FSUGY, Nucor Corporation NUE and Impala Platinum Holdings Limited IMPUY.

Fortescue has a projected earnings growth rate of roughly 105% for the current fiscal. The company’s shares have surged 143% in a year. It currently flaunts a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Nucor has an expected earnings growth rate of around 171% for the current fiscal. The company’s shares have gained 112.5% in the past year. It currently sports a Zacks Rank #1.

Impala has an expected earnings growth rate of 197.6% for the current fiscal. The company’s shares have skyrocketed 276.1% in the past year. It currently flaunts a Zacks Rank #1.

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