Freeport-McMoran, Inc. (NYSE:FCX) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Friday, July 28th.

According to Zacks, “Freeport’s adjusted earnings for second-quarter 2017 missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate while sales beat. The company cut its copper and gold sales volume guidance for 2017. Freeport is taking actions to manage costs and capital spending amid a still challenging operating environment. The company also remains focused on deleveraging its balance sheet, partly through assets sale. It is also conducting exploration activities near its existing mines with a focus on opportunities to expand reserves that will support the development of additional future production capacity. However, Freeport’s copper business is affected by supply-related issues and slowdown in China (a major market). Moreover, the company faces uncertainties surrounding the Grasberg mine in Indonesia. It is also exposed to a volatile copper pricing environment. Freeport has also underperformed the industry it belongs to over the past six months.”

A number of other research firms have also weighed in on FCX. FBR & Co reaffirmed a “market perform” rating and set a $13.00 target price (up previously from $12.00) on shares of Freeport-McMoran in a report on Thursday, July 27th. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $15.00 target price on shares of Freeport-McMoran in a report on Thursday, June 29th. Berenberg Bank set a $10.00 target price on Freeport-McMoran and gave the company a “sell” rating in a report on Friday, July 28th. BidaskClub raised Freeport-McMoran from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, July 24th. Finally, Clarkson Capital reaffirmed a “neutral” rating on shares of Freeport-McMoran in a report on Monday, July 10th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have assigned a hold rating, three have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $14.32.

Shares of Freeport-McMoran (NYSE FCX) traded down 2.98% during midday trading on Friday, hitting $14.33. 11,886,866 shares of the stock traded hands. The company has a market capitalization of $20.74 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.21 and a beta of 2.59. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $13.45 and its 200 day moving average is $13.04. Freeport-McMoran has a 52 week low of $9.24 and a 52 week high of $17.06. Freeport-McMoran also was the target of some unusual options trading on Wednesday. Traders acquired 48,064 call options on the company. This is an increase of approximately 145% compared to the average daily volume of 19,644 call options.

Freeport-McMoran (NYSE:FCX) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, July 25th. The natural resource company reported $0.17 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.21 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $3.71 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.67 billion. Freeport-McMoran had a net margin of 5.97% and a return on equity of 10.45%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 11.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned ($0.02) EPS. Equities analysts forecast that Freeport-McMoran will post $0.89 earnings per share for the current year.

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A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Verition Fund Management LLC increased its stake in Freeport-McMoran by 223.4% in the second quarter. Verition Fund Management LLC now owns 34,108 shares of the natural resource company’s stock worth $410,000 after buying an additional 23,560 shares during the last quarter. BW Gestao de Investimentos Ltda. increased its stake in Freeport-McMoran by 33.3% in the second quarter. BW Gestao de Investimentos Ltda. now owns 1,000,000 shares of the natural resource company’s stock worth $12,010,000 after buying an additional 250,000 shares during the last quarter. Sterling Capital Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Freeport-McMoran during the second quarter valued at $2,426,000. Nomura Holdings Inc. increased its stake in shares of Freeport-McMoran by 1,129.8% in the second quarter. Nomura Holdings Inc. now owns 363,441 shares of the natural resource company’s stock valued at $4,367,000 after buying an additional 398,734 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Bank of Nova Scotia increased its stake in shares of Freeport-McMoran by 474.8% in the second quarter. Bank of Nova Scotia now owns 306,409 shares of the natural resource company’s stock valued at $3,678,000 after buying an additional 388,165 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 69.94% of the company’s stock.

About Freeport-McMoran

Freeport-McMoRan Inc (FCX) is a mining company. The Company operates through geographical assets with proven and probable reserves of copper, gold and molybdenum, and traded copper producer. The Company’s segments include refined copper products, copper in concentrate, gold, molybdenum, oil and other.

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