Freeport McMoRan (FCX) – Get Report posted slightly better-than-expected second-quarter results on Thursday, pushing its full-year forecasts for copper sales higher amid bullish forecasts for the global recovery after the pandemic.
Freeport McMoRan said adjusted earnings for the three months ended June were set at 77 cents per share, up 3 cents per share over the same period last year and just above Street’s consensus forecast of 76 cents per share. Group sales, Freeport McMoRan said, were up 88.5% to $5.75 billion, narrowly missing analysts’ forecasts of $5.76 billion.
Looking to the last half of the year, Freeport McMoRan said it sees copper sales of about £3.85 million, a modest increase from its earlier estimate, and gold sales of 1.3 million ounces.
“Our global team continues to execute our operating plans safely, efficiently and responsibly, with strong cash flows and a solid foundation for future profitability and growth,” said CEO Richard Adkerson. “During the first half of 2021, we reduced our net debt by $2.7 billion and reached our target net debt level, which positions us to increase cash return to shareholders and invest in future growth in line with our financial policies.”
“As a leading responsible copper producer, we are optimistic about the prospects for our business and our role in supporting a growing global economy and the clean energy transition,” he added. “We remain focused on creating value for all stakeholders through solid management of our long-lived and high-quality portfolio of copper assets.”
Freeport McMoRan shares were down 2.3% in pre-market trading immediately after earnings release, indicating an opening bell price of $33.85 apiece, a move that would push the stock’s gains to about 30% to about 30%.
Copper futures on the London Metals Exchange hit $9,381 in overnight trading, bringing their year-to-date gains to around 20% as investors bet on a faster recovery, enabled by construction and low-carbon project developments.
Copper futures in the Shanghai market also crossed the $10,600 mark, down from spring highs of about $12,000, as the government continues to sell off excess copper reserves to maintain record high prices.