Freeport profit exceeds estimates of higher copper prices

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Freeport-McMoran’s CEO Richard Adkerson poses for a picture during an interview with Reuters at the CRU’s World Copper Conference in Santiago, Chile, April 9, 2019. REUTERS / Rodrigo Garrido

October 21 (Reuters) – Miner Freeport-McMoRan Inc (FCX.N) reported quarterly earnings on Thursday that beat analysts’ estimates, aided by higher copper prices and rising demand for the metal.

Copper prices have risen this year, with analysts optimistic that demand for the metal will increase as the global economy recovers and due to its use in the renewable energy sector.

“The prospects for the copper market are extremely positive,” said Richard Adkerson, Freeport’s chief executive officer.

The company’s average realized price for a pound of copper increased about 40% while production of the metal increased about 17% to 987 million recoverable pounds.

Freeport broke ground earlier this month for the construction of one of the world’s largest copper smelters near its existing refinery operations in Indonesia.

The $ 3 billion facility in Gresik, East Java, will have a capacity of 1.7 million tons of copper concentrate and is expected to begin operations in late 2023 or early 2024.

Freeport’s adjusted net income for common stock was $ 1.3 billion, or 89 cents per share, for the third quarter ended September 30, compared to $ 430 million, or 29 cents per share, a year earlier.

According to Refinitiv IBES data, analysts had estimated an average profit of 81 cents per share.

Reporting by Sahil Shaw in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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