The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold, Newmont Mining, Southern Copper, Danaher Corporation, General Electric and SPX Corporation

Zacks

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – July 22, 2011 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include: Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc.  (NYSE:FCX - News), Newmont Mining Corp.  (NYSE:NEM - News), Southern Copper Corp. (NYSE:SCCO - News), Danaher Corporation (NYSE:DHR - News), General Electric Co.  (NYSE:GE - News) and SPX Corporation (SPW)

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Here are highlights from Thursday’s Analyst Blog:

Freeport's Profit More than Doubles

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (FCX) reported a profit of $1.37 billion or $1.43 per share in the second quarter of 2011, which more than doubled from $649 million or 70 cents per share in the same quarter of 2011. The profit exceeded the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 9 cents per share.

Revenues in the quarter surged 50% to $5.81 billion, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $5.63 billion. Consolidated sales from mines totaled 1.0 billion pounds of copper, 356,000 ounces of gold and 21 million pounds of molybdenum compared with 914 million pounds of copper, 298,000 ounces of gold and 16 million pounds of molybdenum in the second quarter of 2010.

Consolidated unit net cash costs (net of by-product credits) averaged 93 cents per pound of copper compared with 97 cents per pound for the second quarter of 2010.  Operating income almost doubled to $2.76 billion from $1.42 billion a year ago.

Freeport-McMoRan had cash and cash equivalents of $4.38 billion as of June 30, 2011 compared with $3.74 billion as of December 31, 2010. As of June 30, 2011, the company’s long-term debt stood at $3.5 billion, translating into a long-term debt-to-capital ratio of 19.6%.

Freeport-McMoRan had $43 million of letters of credit issued under its revolving credit facility resulting in total availability of approximately $1.5 billion as of June 30, 2011. Since January 1, 2009, the company has repaid $3.8 billion in debt resulting in estimated annual interest savings of approximately $270 million based on current interest rates.

In the first half of 2011, Freeport-McMoRan’s operating cash flows increased to $4.04 billion from $2.88 billion in the year-ago period, mainly driven by higher income. Capital expenditures, including capitalized interest, increased to $1.03 billion from $527 million a year ago.

Guidance

Freeport-McMoRan’s consolidated unit net cash costs (net of by-product credits) are estimated to average $1.01 per pound of copper for 2011 based on average prices of $1,500 per ounce for gold and $15 per pound for molybdenum for the second half of 2011.

Based on the same parameters and assuming average prices of $4.25 per pound of copper, the company’s consolidated operating cash flows are estimated to exceed $8 billion for the year 2011.

The company’s capital expenditures are expected to reach $2.6 billion for 2011, including $1.4 billion for major projects and $1.2 billion for sustaining capital. Major projects for 2011 primarily include underground development activities at Grasberg, construction activities at the Climax molybdenum mine and completion of the initial phase of the sulfide ore project at El Abra.

Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. is engaged in mineral exploration and development; mining and milling of copper, gold, molybdenum and silver; as well as the smelting and refining of copper concentrates.

The company conducts its operations primarily through its principal operating subsidiaries, PT Freeport Indonesia, Freeport-McMoRan Corporation (formerly Phelps Dodge) and Atlantic Copper. Its major competitors include Newmont Mining Corp. (NEM) and Southern Copper Corp. (SCCO). It currently retains Zacks #3 Rank on its stock, which translates to short-term rating of “Hold.

Danaher Underperforms

Danaher Corporation (DHR) released its second-quarter 2011 results before the opening bell today reporting earnings from continuing operations of 65 cents, below the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 67 cents. Earnings for the quarter were up 23% compared with the prior-year quarter.

Adjusted diluted earnings from continuing operations, which excludes contribution from Beckman Coulter, was 69 cents, an increase of 28% year over year.

Revenue

The company generated sales from continuing operations for 2011 of $3.7 billion, an increase of 15.5% year over year. Core revenue for the quarter was up 7.5%. Danaher continues to benefit from product innovations and its go-to-market initiatives. Efforts of Danaher are leading to organic growth and expanding margins.

Test & Measurement revenue was $848.2 million compared with $682.2 million in the prior-year quarter, Environmental revenue was $730.6 million compared with $696.0 million, Life Sciences & Diagnostics revenue was $704.8 million compared with $540.1 million, Dental revenue was $504.7 million compared with $428.3 million and Industrial Technologies revenue was $923.4 million compared with $698.5 million.

Margin

Operating profit in the quarter was $626.1 million compared with $517.8 million.

Operating margin in Test & Measurement was 22.4%, Environmental was 21.7%, Life Sciences & Diagnostics was 4.9%, Dental was 10.9% and Industrial Technologies was 21.7%.

Balance Sheet and Cash Flow

Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the quarter was $551.6 million with long-term debt of $6.5 billion and total shareholders equity of $16.6 billion.

Net cash flows from operating activities were $1.1 billion compared with $931.8 million in prior-year quarter.

Outlook

The company expects to derive continued benefit from its new product investments as well as its increased penetration in the emerging markets. Further, Beckman Coulter acquisition is also expected to be a major contributor in 2011 and beyond.

Danaher Corporation is a diversified technology company that designs, manufactures and markets innovative products and services, which are typically characterized by strong brand names, proprietary technology and major market positions. Major Competitors of the company are General Electric Co. (GE) and SPX Corporation (SPW).

We maintain a Zacks #1 Rank (short-term Strong Buy recommendation) on Danaher Corporation.

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