Freeport-McMoRan (FCX) Raised to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

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

According to Zacks, “Freeport has outperformed the industry it belongs to over a year.  The company’s actions to reduce debt is likely to boost its financial position. It is also conducting exploration activities near its existing mines with a focus to expand reserves that will support additional future production capacity. However, 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 in 2018 as reflected by the company's guidance. The company’s South American mines are also exposed to operational challenges. Volumes in South America are expected to remain under pressure in the near term. Moreover, it still faces uncertainties surrounding the Grasberg mine.”

A number of other research firms have also weighed in on FCX. Royal Bank of Canada increased their price target on Freeport-McMoRan to $22.00 and gave the company a sector perform rating in a research report on Monday, March 12th. UBS Group increased their price target on Freeport-McMoRan from $14.00 to $18.50 and gave the company a neutral rating in a research report on Tuesday, March 6th. Goldman Sachs Group started coverage on Freeport-McMoRan in a research note on Tuesday, March 20th. They issued a buy rating and a $23.00 price objective for the company. Morgan Stanley increased their price objective on Freeport-McMoRan from $14.00 to $15.00 and gave the stock a hold rating in a research note on Monday, March 26th. Finally, Jefferies Financial Group set a $25.00 price objective on Freeport-McMoRan and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Monday, April 9th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $17.92.

Freeport-McMoRan opened at $16.79 on Tuesday, Marketbeat Ratings reports. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.93, a current ratio of 2.33 and a quick ratio of 1.43. Freeport-McMoRan has a 1-year low of $11.71 and a 1-year high of $20.25. The firm has a market capitalization of $24.48 billion, a P/E ratio of 14.35 and a beta of 2.48.

Freeport-McMoRan (NYSE:FCX) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, April 24th. The natural resource company reported $0.46 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.56 by ($0.10). Freeport-McMoRan had a net margin of 12.72% and a return on equity of 19.92%. The company had revenue of $4.87 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.92 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $0.15 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 45.7% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts expect that Freeport-McMoRan will post 2.02 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, August 1st. Stockholders of record on Friday, July 13th will be paid a dividend of $0.05 per share. This represents a $0.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.19%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, July 12th. Freeport-McMoRan’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 17.09%.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of FCX. Sei Investments Co. raised its stake in shares of Freeport-McMoRan by 22.1% during the 4th quarter. Sei Investments Co. now owns 275,359 shares of the natural resource company’s stock worth $5,221,000 after purchasing an additional 49,856 shares in the last quarter. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. raised its stake in shares of Freeport-McMoRan by 12.2% during the 4th quarter. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. now owns 210,146 shares of the natural resource company’s stock worth $3,984,000 after purchasing an additional 22,779 shares in the last quarter. American International Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of Freeport-McMoRan by 15.1% during the 4th quarter. American International Group Inc. now owns 461,893 shares of the natural resource company’s stock worth $8,757,000 after purchasing an additional 60,719 shares in the last quarter. FDx Advisors Inc. raised its stake in shares of Freeport-McMoRan by 17.1% during the 4th quarter. FDx Advisors Inc. now owns 35,609 shares of the natural resource company’s stock worth $675,000 after purchasing an additional 5,195 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Suntrust Banks Inc. raised its stake in shares of Freeport-McMoRan by 27.2% during the 4th quarter. Suntrust Banks Inc. now owns 47,265 shares of the natural resource company’s stock worth $894,000 after purchasing an additional 10,097 shares in the last quarter. 71.63% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Freeport-McMoRan Company Profile

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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Analyst Recommendations for Freeport-McMoRan (NYSE:FCX)

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