Market Chatter: Freeport Deal Talk Intensifies on Cheap Copper; RIO, AAL Cited


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Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. ( FCX ) is offering the best deal in copper for mining companies willing to bet big on the metal, Bloomberg reported.

Freeport, the world's largest publicly traded copper miner, yesterday was valued at 3.3 times its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization in 2013, according to analysts' estimates compiled by Bloomberg. That was cheaper than any other base metals producer with more than $10 billion in market value and about a third less than the median, it said.

While Freeport faces the first back-to-back slump in annual earnings after workers at its Indonesian mine went on a three-month strike and copper prices fell from a record on concern over a slowdown in China, analysts say its Ebitda next year will rebound to an all-time high as demand recovers, according to the Bloomberg report.

Freeport could now attract Rio Tinto Group ( RIO ), its partner in Indonesia, according to Adrian Day Asset Management. A deal would also give BHP Billiton Ltd. or Anglo American Plc (AAL) a company that produces 10% of the world's copper, Oracle Investment Research said.

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This article appears in: Investing , Commodities
More Headlines for: FCX , RIO

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