Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc.
) hit a new 52-week high of $38.09 on Jan 2 and eventually closed
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Freeport's shares have recorded a one-year return of roughly 15%.
The company's long-term estimated earnings per share (EPS) growth
rate is 12.2%. Freeport's average volume of shares traded over
the last three months was approximately 10,395K.
What is Driving Freeport Up?
Freeport, which carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), has made a major
stride to venture into the U.S. energy space. The acquisiton of
Plains Exploration and McMoRan Exploration represents a part of
Freeport's strategy to diversify from its bread-and-butter copper
mining business. The buyouts has ushered in new
opportunities for Freeport. The merger is expected to make the
combined entity a leading natural resource conglomerate in the
U.S., leveraging Freeport's industry-leading mineral assets and
the oil and gas resources of Plains and McMoRan.
The addition of Plains' established oil production assets and
McMoRan's natural gas drilling capabilities and shallow water
ultra-deep properties provides Freeport a significant exposure to
Freeport is conducting explorations close to its existing mines
with a goal to boost reserves, which will facilitate the
development of additional future production capacity. Favorable
exploration results indicate opportunities for significant future
potential reserve additions in North and South America and in the
Tenke Fungurume minerals district.
Freeport also continues to progress with its expansion
initiatives in Latin America. At Cerro Verde, Peru, a large-scale
concentrator expansion continues to advance. The roughly $4.4
billion project would expand the concentrator facilities from
120,000 metric tons of ore per day to 360,000 metric tons of ore
per day and provide incremental annual production of around 600
million pounds of copper and 15 million pounds of molybdenum
beginning in 2016.
Other Stocks to Consider
Other players in the mining industry worth considering are
Tahoe Resources Inc.
5N Plus Inc.
Anglo American Platinum Limited
). While Tahoe Resources holds a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), both
5N Plus and Anglo American Platinum retain a Zacks Rank #2