Freeport-McMoRan gets boost from Indonesia export resumption

Freeport-McMoRan Inc. missed earnings targets but its stock jumped Tuesday as investors cheered its resuming exports of copper concentrate from Indonesia after a three-month regulatory suspension.

The mining company reported first-quarter net income of $228 million, compared with a $4.18 billion loss in the same period a year earlier when the company booked a big write-down.

Freeport-McMoRan was hamstrung by regulatory restrictions which caused production interruptions at its Indonesia operations beginning in mid-January. Those restrictions on concentrate exports from the Grasberg minerals district were lifted last week. The company was granted a six-month window from the Indonesian government to resume operations while it negotiates a new license and other agreements.

"Based on our analysis, this short term agreement at Grasberg is a key step for resolution of the longer term contested issues for the company in Indonesia," Jefferies analyst Christopher LaFemina wrote in a note.

The Phoenix-based company sold less copper and gold than it had projected for the quarter due to the Indonesian export interruption. It also fell short of last year's first quarter sales numbers in those categories.

On a per-share basis, the Phoenix-based company said it had net income of 16 cents. Earnings, adjusted to account for discontinued operations, came to 15 cents per share.

The results fell short of Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of nine analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 17 cents per share.

The mining company posted revenue of $3.34 billion in the period, which also did not meet Street forecasts. Four analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $3.51 billion. The company reported revenue of $3.24 billion for the same quarter last year.

Freeport-McMoRan's shares were up 84 cents, or almost 7 percent, to $13.07 in afternoon trading.


Elements of this story were generated in part by Automated Insights using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on FCX at


Keywords: Freeport-McMoRan, Earnings Report