Freeport-McMoRan Misses on Both Top and Bottom Lines

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Freeport-McMoRan Inc. (NYSE: FCX) reported its fourth-quarter financial results before the markets opened on Wednesday. The company said that it had $0.25 in earnings per share (EPS) and $4.38 billion in revenue. Consensus estimates had called for $0.33 in EPS and revenue of $4.42 billion. The same period of last year reportedly had a net loss of $0.02 per share and $3.79 billion in revenue.

In terms of its fourth-quarter consolidated sales volumes, the company reported:

  • Copper sales of 1.2 billion pounds were lower than the October 2016 estimate of 1.3 billion pounds, principally reflecting lower volumes from PT-FI and the impact of the November 2016 Tenke sale.
  • Gold sales of 405 thousand ounces were lower than the October 2016 estimate of 590 thousand ounces, primarily reflecting lower mining and milling rates at PT-FI.
  • Molybdenum sales of 22 million pounds were slightly higher than the October 2016 estimate of 21 million pounds.

Looking ahead, sales volumes for the first quarter of 2017 are expected to approximate 1.0 billion pounds of copper, 460 thousand ounces of gold and 23 million pounds of molybdenum.

On the books, the company’s cash and cash equivalents totaled $4.25 billion at the end of the quarter, compared to $177 million at the end of the previous year.

During 2016, Freeport-McMoRan took actions to restore its balance sheet strength through a combination of asset sale transactions, cash flow from operations and capital market transactions. Over the course of the year, the company completed $6.6 billion in asset sale transactions, which included $5.2 billion in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Richard C. Adkerson, president and CEO, commented:

During 2016, we took aggressive actions in response to market conditions to restore our balance sheet strength. I am pleased to report that we were successful in reducing our net debt by over $8 billion during the year while completing a major expansion at our world class Cerro Verde mine. I am proud of our global team for their accomplishments in ‘Proving our Mettle.’ As we enter 2017, we are enthusiastic about opportunities to generate future values for shareholders through our portfolio of high-quality, long-lived copper resources. We remain focused on generating significant cash flows to complete our debt reduction plan and to build long-term values for shareholders.

Shares of Freeport-McMoRan closed Tuesday up 8.3% at $17.02, with a consensus analyst price target of $13.85 and a 52-week trading range of $4.02 to $17.06. Following the release of the earnings report, the stock was down 3.6% at $16.40 in early trading indications Wednesday.