Freeport-McMoRan’s profit more than halves on lower production

Freeport-McMoRan’s profit more than halves on lower production

FILE PHOTO: The logo of copper miner Freeport-McMoRan Inc is displayed on their offices in Phoenix, Arizona, U.S. June 30, 2022. REUTERS/Ernest Scheyder/File Photo


(Reuters) -Copper miner Freeport-McMoRan (NYSE:FCX) Inc’s first-quarter profit more than halved on Friday, hurt by a drop in production and lower prices amid signs of an economic slowdown.

In February, the company was forced to stop operations at its Grasberg mine in Indonesia for more than two weeks after the mine was hit by floods.

Freeport also warned in January that its struggle to find workers in the United States was limiting the amount of copper it can produce.

The company reported a net income attributable to common stockholders of $663 million, or 46 cents per share, in the three months ended March 31, compared with $1.53 billion, or $1.04 per share, a year earlier.

Freeport’s shares were marginally down before the bell on Friday.

The company’s copper production in the quarter fell to 965 million pounds from 1.01 billion pounds a year earlier.

Freeport, which has operations in the Americas and Indonesia, also cut its annual capital expenditure forecast to about $5.1 billion from $5.2 billion.

The miner reported average realized copper prices of $4.11 per pound for the quarter, compared with $4.66 a year earlier.

Copper prices were about 10% lower during the first quarter, compared with a year earlier, pressured by a slower-than-expected economic rebound in top consumer China and signs of a slowdown in global economic activities.

On an adjusted basis, Freeport earned 52 cents per share in the quarter, compared with estimates of 45 cents per share, according to Refinitiv data.


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