Freeport McMoran Shares Dip on Weaker-Than-Expected 4Q, Phelps Shares Follow Slideadmin
A weaker-than-expected quarterly earnings report from Freeport McMoran Copper & Gold Inc. sent the miner’s shares lower on Tuesday, as results fell far short of Wall Street’s forecast.
New Orleans-based Freeport — which is buying rival copper miner Phelps Dodge Corp. for $25.9 billion — reported declining production at its core Indonesian mining operations hurt earnings in the fourth quarter.
The company’s per-share profit of $1.99 missed analysts’ consensus target of $2.12 per share.
Freeport shares slipped 84 cents to $54.17 in midday trading on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock has moved in a 52-week range of $43.10 to $72.20. Shares of Phoenix-based Phelps Dodge dipped 35 cents to $119.55 on the Big Board.
Credit Suisse analyst David Gagliano called the shortfall “explainable,” due to a sharp drop in copper prices in December, when he said Freeport books about 80 percent of its quarterly shipments. The company realized an average copper price of $2.88 a pound — up 43 percent year-over-year but short of Gagliano’s estimate of $3.23.