Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. Fourth Quarter Earnings Preview

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold, Inc. (NYSE:FCX) will unveil its latest earnings on Thursday, January 19, 2012. Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold is an international company that mines copper, gold and molybdenum.

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold, Inc. Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet.

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for profit of 69 cents per share, a decline of 57.7% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from $1.09. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It also has dropped from 74 cents during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 5% versus last year to $4.87.

Past Earnings Performance: Last quarter, the company missed estimates by 2 cents, coming in at net income of $1.10 per share versus a mean estimate of profit of $1.12 per share. In the second quarter, the company beat estimates by 15 cents.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: On average, analysts predict $3.85 billion in revenue this quarter, a decline of 31.3% from the year ago quarter. Analysts are forecasting total revenue of $20.98 billion for the year, a rise of 10.5% from last year’s revenue of $18.98 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts are bullish on this stock with 17 analysts rating it as a buy, none rating it as a sell and one rating it as a hold.

A Look Back: In the third quarter, profit fell 10.6% to $1.05 billion ($1.10 a share) from $1.18 billion ($1.25 a share) the year earlier, missing analyst expectations. Revenue rose 0.8% to $5.2 billion from $5.15 billion.

Key Stats:

The decrease in profit in the third quarter broke a streak of three consecutive quarters of year-over-year profit increases. Net income rose more than twofold in the second quarter, 58.6% in the first quarter and 52% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year.

Revenue has risen the past four quarters. Revenue rose 50.5% in the second quarter from the year earlier, climbed 30.9% in the first quarter from the year-ago quarter and 21.5% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year.

Competitors to Watch: Southern Copper Corp. (NYSE:SCCO), Rio Tinto plc (NYSE:RIO), Newmont Mining Corporation (NYSE:NEM), Taseko Mines Limited (AMEX:TGB), HudBay Minerals Inc. (NYSE:HBM), Alcoa Inc. (NYSE:AA), Western Copper Corporation (WRN), Royal Gold, Inc. (NASDAQ:RGLD), Augusta Resource Corp. (AMEX:AZC), and Vista Gold Corp. (AMEX:VGZ).

Stock Price Performance: During October 18, 2011 to January 13, 2012, the stock price had risen $6.84 (19.5%) from $35.16 to $42. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between August 22, 2011 and August 31, 2011 when shares rose for eight-straight days, rising 13.3% (+$5.44) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between April 7, 2011 and April 18, 2011 when shares fell for eight-straight days, falling 11.5% (-$6.45) over that span.

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

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