Sunday, May 23, 2010

Freeport stock in meltdown along with metals - Phoenix Business Journal

by Chris Casacchia Phoenix Business Journal May 21, 2010

Share prices at Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. have declined steadily over the past month, taking the plunge along with the prices of precious metals.

On April 15, Freeport’s stock was trading at $84.22 per share, the highest mark in the past month. Since then, prices have dipped below $70 as volatility on Wall Street tempered investor confidence and Greece teetered on bankruptcy. The stock closed at $67.69 on May 19.

Anthony Rizzuto, an analyst with Dahlman Rose & Co. in New York, said the force behind the drop primarily concerns China and policymakers’ efforts there to control the country’s growth.

To a lesser degree, it involves European concerns and sovereign debt issues, Dahlman said. “It’s hard to tell if the volatility will continue.”

The price of copper also has declined steadily, nearly hitting $3.60 a pound April 15 and closing at $2.98 on May 19.

“Our sense that the sell-off, which has been very sustainable, probably has taken a lot out of the downside risk,” Rizzuto said. “I’m not saying all, but a good portion.”

Freeport’s first-quarter revenue was $4.36 billion, up from

$2.6 billion for the same period in 2009. Net income topped $897 million, or $2 a share, up from $43 million, 11 cents, a year earlier.

Freeport stock in meltdown along with metals - Phoenix Business Journal

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