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Portfolio Update

Making Moves

By Roger S. Conrad, on Aug. 22, 2014

Freeport-McMoRan (NYSE: FCX) changed its name from Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold, but our investment thesis remains intact.

The diversified miner reached a deal with Indonesian regulators to resume exports from the Grasberg mine, which should lift the firm’s earnings in the second half of the year.

And despite challenging business conditions, Freeport-McMoRan posted solid second-quarter results, with global copper sales increasing by 1.8 percent year over year and production costs falling by 7 percent.

The company grew its molybdenum sales by 8.7 percent from the second quarter of 2013 and benefited from last year’s oil and gas acquisitions, which have helped to shore up the mining giant’s revenue.

However, Freeport-McMoRan’s gold production tumbled by 8.1 percent, in part because of the aforementioned disruptions at Grasberg.

Although copper prices remain volatile and the supply-demand outlook in China remains murky, the company’s aggressive efforts to ramp up low-cost production should pay off over the long haul.

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