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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Freeport (NYSE:FCX) Exceeds Expectations on Higher Commodity Prices

Led by higher copper and gold prices, Freeport-McMoRan (NYSE:FCX) soared in the third quarter, with earnings rising by 30 percent over the same period in 2009, rising to $1.2 billion, or $2.49 a share. Analysts had been looking for $2.12 a share.

Revenue was up almost by the same, increasing to $5.2 billion, rising by 27 percent from $4.1 billion last year in the same quarter. That means margins held pretty strongly for the quarter. Analysts had been looking for about $4.63 billion in revenue.

Going forward, the interest rate boost by China has left the industrial metals sector a little weaker than in the recent past, suggesting China may be cutting back on spending to cool down its economy more. That could cut into revenue and earnings in the near-term.

Freeport made a big move for it shareholders with dividends, increasing them to $2 a share, a 33 percent increase.

The diversified miner was trading at $95.86, gaining $0.51, or 0.53 percent at 1:17 PM EDT.

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