Freeport-McMoran-corporation-headquarters-picture

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (NYSE:FCX) has released its first quarter earnings for 2012, and they were very positive. The company showed a decrease in both revenue and share price between the second quarter (total revenue $5,814; EPS $1.44) and the third quarter (total revenue $5,159; EPS $1.11).

Below are some highlights followed by our earlier mention of the company:

1Q operations were negatively impacted by labor-related work interruptions in Indonesia

EPS: $0.80 vs $0.96 expected = miss (16 cent adjustment for loss on early extinguishment of debt)

0.80 EPS vs 0.86 ESt… 4.61 billion Revenue vs. 4.54 billion estimate

1Q cash costs came in higher than expected at $1.26/lb. Raise 2012 cost guidance to $1.43/lb from prior guide of $1.38/lb

Shares are up 0.78% pre market at the time of this writing.

Arizona based mining conglomerate Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold (NYSE:FCX) is scheduled to release it’s earnings for the first quarter 2012 on Thursday April 19th, before the markets open.  Freeport is currently the world’s largest molybdenum producer, with facilities in both North and South America, Africa and Indonesia.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the quarter gives an ESP of $0.85, a disheartening decline of over 46% on the value of the same quarter in 2011.  However, in all but one of the four quarters preceding 2012 Freeport managed to outperform the Zacks Consensus Estimate to give surprise earnings of 9.6% above what was expected!

Freeport is optimistic about its new mineral explorations in the Tenke Fungurume region of the Democratic Republic of Congo; and analysts are eager to see if they have pulled another positive surprise out of the bag for this quarter’s earnings.

Trends

In 2011, Freeport watched their profits tumble by a staggering 58% to $640 million.  At the same time revenues collapsed by over 25% to $4.2 billion.  However, it must be remembered that this figure was an big improvement of the Zacks Estimate of $3.8 billion and last quarter’s ESP was $0.67, three cents above what was expected.

Analyst Ratings

Estimates for first quarter 2012 have remained static at $0.85, although the overall fiscal 2012 figures have improved by 4 cents over the last week. In view of an uncertain coming year for Freeport, most analysts recommend a hold.

Competitive firms

Freeport is a big player in the global copper ming industry.  Other noteworthy competitors are Newmont Mining Corporation (NYSE:NEM) and Southern Copper Corp (NYSE:SCCO).

Recent price movements:

Zacks reports that Freeport’s stock price has fallen by 16.3% to $36.92 from $44.09 since January 18th 2012.  In anticipation of Thursday’s release, its stock price rose by 1.4% at close of trade on Wednesday 18th April.