Freeport-McMoRan's Stock Falls After Dividend, Capex, Mining Cuts

Freeport-McMoRan Inc.'s stock fell about 1% in premarket trade Wednesday, after the company said it was suspending its dividend, cutting oil and gas capital expenditures and further curtailing copper mining operations in response to continued declines in commodity prices. The plan to cut its annual dividend of 20 cents a share would enhance liquidity by providing cash savings of about $240 million a year, the company said. Capex for 2016 and 2017 will be further reduced to $1.8 billion a year from $2 billion. The new plan includes reducing rig utilization, while increasing production. The company said it was increasing curtailments in copper production to about 350 million pounds from 250 million. "We are taking further actions to strengthen our financial position during a period of weak and uncertain market conditions," said Chief Executive James Moffett. "As we approach 2016, we are positioning the company for free cash flow generation in a weak commodity price environment and remain focused on actions to reduce debt." The stock has tumbled 71% year to date through Tuesday, while the S&P 500 has gained 0.2%.

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