U.S. Markets closed

Freeport (FCX) to Post Q3 Earnings: What's in the Cards?

Zacks Equity Research
1 / 3

Freeport (FCX) to Post Q3 Earnings: What's in the Cards?

For Q3, Freeport (FCX) expects consolidated sales volumes for copper and gold to be 970 million pounds and 700,000 ounces, respectively.

Freeport-McMoRan Inc. FCX is set to release third-quarter 2018 results on Oct 24, before the opening bell.

In the last reported quarter, the mining giant delivered a positive earnings surprise of 7.4% by posting adjusted earnings of 58 cents per share, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 54 cents.

Revenues went up around 39% year over year to $5,168 million, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $4,821.2 million.

Notably, Freeport beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three of the trailing four quarters, with an average beat of 2%.

The stock has lost 24.1% in the past three months compared with the industry’s 13.3% decline.




Will the company surprise investors again or is it heading for a possible pullback? Let’s see how things are shaping up for this announcement.

Factors at Play in Q3

Freeport, during second-quarter earnings call, stated that it continues to anticipate consolidated sales volumes for 2018 to be roughly 3.8 billion pounds of copper, 2.4 million ounces of gold and 95 million pounds of molybdenum. Moreover, the projections include 970 million pounds of copper, 700,000 ounces of gold and 24 million pounds of molybdenum for the third quarter.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for consolidated revenues for the third quarter for Freeport is currently pegged at $4,380 million, reflecting year-over-year increase of around 1.6%. Consolidated copper production is projected to fall roughly 2.8% year over year in the third quarter, as the Zacks Consensus Estimate is pegged at 968 million pounds.

Total copper sales from the North American Copper Mines are projected to witness a 4.8% decline year over year, as the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the third quarter is currently pegged at 357 million pounds. The segment’s volume fell 11.5% year over year in the second quarter, mainly due to expected lower ore grades and timing of shipments.

Meanwhile, total copper sales from the South American Mining are expected to witness a 3.7% decline year over year, as the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the same is currently pegged at 316 million pounds. Notably, sales the segment improved 8.7% year over year during the second quarter.

Copper sales from Indonesia Mining are expected to be almost flat year over year as the Zacks Consensus Estimate is currently pegged at 292 million pounds. Notably, the company expects copper sales from Indonesia mining to be about 1.15 billion pounds and gold sales to be 2.4 million ounces for 2018 compared with 1 billion pounds of copper and 1.5 million ounces of gold recorded in 2017.

Rising unit net cash costs for copper in North American operation is a concern. The company expects average unit net cash costs of copper for North America to be roughly $1.78 per pound for 2018, primarily indicating lower expected sales volumes. Unit net cash costs for the region rose 17.8% year over year to $1.79 per pound in second-quarter 2018. The weakness in copper prices is another concern for Freeport, which may affect its margins in the to-be-reported quarter.

Nevertheless, focus on productivity along with cost and capital discipline are likely to support Freeport’s earnings in the third quarter.

Freeport-McMoRan Inc. Price and EPS Surprise


Freeport-McMoRan Inc. Price and EPS Surprise | Freeport-McMoRan Inc. Quote


Earnings Whispers

Our proven model does not show that Freeport is likely to beat estimates this quarter. That is because a stock needs to have a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) for this to happen. That is not the case here, as you will see below:

Earnings ESP: Earnings ESP for Freeport is -6.63%. This is because the Most Accurate Estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate are currently pegged at 31 cents and 33 cents, respectively. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.

Zacks Rank: Freeport currently carries a Zacks Rank #3, which when combined with a negative ESP, makes surprise prediction difficult. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here

Note that we caution against Sell-rated stocks (#4 or 5) going into the earnings announcement, especially when the company is seeing negative estimate revisions.

Stocks Poised to Beat Estimates

Here are some companies in the basic materials space you may want to consider as our model shows they have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat this quarter:

CF Industries Holdings, Inc. CF has an Earnings ESP of +12.07% and carries a Zacks Rank #1.  

The Mosaic Company MOS has an Earnings ESP of +2.17% and carries a Zacks Rank #3.  

FMC Corporation FMC has an Earnings ESP of +1.09% and carries a Zacks Rank #3.

Looking for Stocks with Skyrocketing Upside?

Zacks has just released a Special Report on the booming investment opportunities of legal marijuana.

Ignited by new referendums and legislation, this industry is expected to blast from an already robust $6.7 billion to $20.2 billion in 2021. Early investors stand to make a killing, but you have to be ready to act and know just where to look.

See the pot trades we're targeting>>

Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report
FMC Corporation (FMC) : Free Stock Analysis Report
The Mosaic Company (MOS) : Free Stock Analysis Report
CF Industries Holdings, Inc. (CF) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Freeport-McMoRan Inc. (FCX) : Free Stock Analysis Report
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.