Freeport-McMoRan (FCX) Cut to Strong Sell at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Freeport-McMoRan (NYSE:FCX) from a hold rating to a strong sell rating in a research report released on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Freeport’s rising unit net cash costs for copper in North American and South American operations remain a concern. Average unit net cash costs of copper for North America are expected to rise year over year for full-year 2018 as reflected by the company's guidance. Freeport is also faced with operational challenges at its North America operations. The recent slump in copper prices and concerns over demand for copper due to trade tensions are other worries for Freeport. The company has also underperformed the industry it belongs to in the past six months.”

Other equities analysts also recently issued reports about the company. B. Riley dropped their price objective on Freeport-McMoRan from $18.00 to $16.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a research note on Thursday, October 25th. TheStreet downgraded Freeport-McMoRan from a b- rating to a c+ rating in a research note on Monday, November 19th. BMO Capital Markets set a $13.00 price objective on Freeport-McMoRan and gave the company a hold rating in a research note on Thursday, October 25th. Deutsche Bank set a $15.00 price target on Freeport-McMoRan and gave the stock a hold rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 2nd. Finally, Raymond James set a $16.00 price target on Freeport-McMoRan and gave the stock a hold rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 24th. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $16.46.



NYSE FCX traded up $0.11 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $11.62. The stock had a trading volume of 830,977 shares, compared to its average volume of 19,139,952. Freeport-McMoRan has a 52-week low of $9.60 and a 52-week high of $20.25. The company has a market capitalization of $16.68 billion, a P/E ratio of 9.90 and a beta of 2.26. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.83, a current ratio of 2.84 and a quick ratio of 1.78.

Freeport-McMoRan (NYSE:FCX) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 24th. The natural resource company reported $0.35 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.33 by $0.02. Freeport-McMoRan had a return on equity of 22.63% and a net margin of 15.80%. The firm had revenue of $4.91 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.50 billion. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.34 EPS. Freeport-McMoRan’s quarterly revenue was up 13.9% on a year-over-year basis. On average, research analysts expect that Freeport-McMoRan will post 1.68 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, February 1st. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, January 15th will be given a dividend of $0.05 per share. This represents a $0.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.72%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, January 14th. Freeport-McMoRan’s payout ratio is 17.09%.

In other news, Director Courtney Mather sold 75,000 shares of Freeport-McMoRan stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, October 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $11.15, for a total transaction of $836,250.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 152,133 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,696,282.95. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 1.05% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in FCX. Cumberland Advisors Inc. bought a new position in shares of Freeport-McMoRan during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $1,167,000. Moody National Bank Trust Division boosted its position in shares of Freeport-McMoRan by 3.6% during the fourth quarter. Moody National Bank Trust Division now owns 28,192 shares of the natural resource company’s stock worth $291,000 after buying an additional 985 shares during the period. PM CAPITAL Ltd acquired a new position in shares of Freeport-McMoRan during the fourth quarter worth approximately $6,183,000. Nordea Investment Management AB boosted its position in shares of Freeport-McMoRan by 6.7% during the third quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 61,095 shares of the natural resource company’s stock worth $850,000 after buying an additional 3,838 shares during the period. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc lifted its position in Freeport-McMoRan by 3.6% in the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 154,818,850 shares of the natural resource company’s stock worth $2,155,078,000 after purchasing an additional 5,375,340 shares during the period. 70.32% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Freeport-McMoRan

Freeport-McMoRan Inc engages in the mining of mineral properties in the United States, Indonesia, Peru, and Chile. The company primarily explores for copper, gold, molybdenum, silver, and other metals, as well as oil and gas. Its assets include the Grasberg minerals district in Indonesia; Morenci, Bagdad, Safford, Sierrita, and Miami in Arizona; Tyrone and Chino in New Mexico; and Henderson and Climax in Colorado, North America, as well as Cerro Verde and El Abra mines in South America.

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