Freeport Copper Fourth Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Freeport Copper (NYSE:FCX) will unveil its latest earnings on Tuesday, January 22, 2013. Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold is an international company that mines copper, gold and molybdenum.

Freeport Copper Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average analyst estimate is for profit of 78 cents per share, a rise of 16.4% from the company’s actual earnings for the year-ago quarter. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from 93 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It also has dropped from 81 cents during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 33.3% compared to last year’s $3.23.

Past Earnings Performance: The company is looking to top analyst estimates this quarter after trailing for the two previous quarters. Last quarter, it missed estimates by reporting net income of 68 cents per share against an estimate of profit of 74 cents per share. The quarter before that, it missed expectations by one cent.

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A Look Back: In the third quarter, profit fell 21.7% to $824 million (86 cents a share) from $1.05 billion ($1.10 a share) the year earlier, missing analyst expectations. Revenue fell 15% to $4.42 billion from $5.2 billion.

Stock Price Performance: Between October 19, 2012 and January 16, 2013, the stock price fell $6.93 (-16.8%), from $41.18 to $34.25. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between September 5, 2012 and September 14, 2012, when shares rose for eight straight days, increasing 21% (+$7.39) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between May 7, 2012 and May 18, 2012 when shares fell for 10 straight days, dropping 12.6% (-$4.59) over that span.

Wall St. Revenue Expectations: Analysts predict a rise of 11.5% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $4.64 billion.

Key Stats:

On the top line, the company is hoping to use this earnings announcement to snap a string of four-straight quarters of revenue decreases. Revenue fell 25.7% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, 19.3% in first quarter and 23% in the second quarter and then fell again in the third quarter.

Heading into this earnings announcement, net income has dropped 44.4% on average for the last four quarters.

Analyst Ratings: With nine analysts rating the stock a buy, none rating it a sell and four rating the stock a hold, there are indications of a bullish stance by analysts.

Balance Sheet Analysis: The company’s current ratio of assets to liabilities came in at 3.23 last quarter. Having a ratio above 2:1 is usually considered a good indicator of a company’s liquidity and ability to meet creditor demands.

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(Company fundamentals by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)