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FreePort-McMoRan Q4 Results: Stock Surges, Exceeding Expectations

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Overview

FreePort-McMoRan Inc. saw a significant boost in its stock price, rising 6.3% on Wednesday. This increase followed the mining giant’s impressive fourth-quarter profit and revenue results, surpassing expectations set by Wall Street. Notably, the company’s copper volumes exceeded its earlier estimate.

Financial Performance

For the three months ending on December 31, FreePort-McMoRan reported fourth-quarter earnings of $388 million, equivalent to 27 cents per share. This represents a decrease compared to the year-ago quarter of $697 million, or 48 cents per share. However, the company’s adjusted profit of 27 cents per share surpassed the FactSet consensus estimate of 23 cents per share.

The company experienced a rise in fourth-quarter revenue, reaching $5.91 billion compared to $5.76 billion from the previous year. This achievement also exceeded analysts’ expectations, with the consensus estimate being $5.85 billion.

Copper Sales and Gold Production

FreePort-McMoRan’s copper-sales volume in the fourth quarter reached 1.1 billion pounds, surpassing their initial projection made in October. Looking ahead, the company expects sales of 1 billion pounds of copper for the first quarter.

In terms of gold production, FreePort-McMoRan aims to increase its output in 2024, projecting 575,000 ounces in the first quarter, compared to 549,000 ounces in the previous quarter. Moreover, for the entirety of 2024, the company foresees selling 2 million ounces of gold compared to 1.7 million ounces in 2023.

Future Projections

Chief Executive Richard C. Adkerson emphasized the company’s commitment to strong execution of their operating and investment plans. Adkerson expressed optimism about market fundamentals and highlighted the company’s continuous effort to enhance the value of their impressive portfolio of assets.

Pricing Trends

During the fourth quarter, average realized prices for copper stood at $3.81 per pound, slightly lower than the full-year 2023 figure of $3.85 per pound.

In contrast, realized gold prices experienced an increase in the fourth quarter, reaching $2,034 per ounce compared to an average of $1,972 per ounce throughout 2023.

Molybdenum prices in the quarter were $20.66 per pound, a decrease from the full-year figure of $24.64.

Stock Performance

Prior to this positive momentum, FreePort-McMoRan’s stock had experienced a decline of 18.2% over the past year. In comparison, the S&P 500 index gained 21.1% during the same period.

Also read (August 2023): Freeport-McMoRan hit by ‘cybersecurity incident’

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