TORONTO (Reuters) – Freeport-McMoRan Inc shares jumped to a 16-month high on Tuesday, as soaring metal prices and progress in a long-running, costly permit dispute with Indonesia buoyed the world’s biggest publicly traded copper miner.
Investors brushed aside quarterly results and full-year forecasts that were short of expectations, focusing instead on a two-year high for copper prices and Chief Executive Officer Richard Adkerson’s confidence in securing a new mining agreement by October for Freeport’s giant Grasberg mine.
Freeport’s stock surged nearly 15 percent on the New York Stock Exchange by mid-day Tuesday, making it the top performer on the S&P 500 Index as it outpaced gains by fellow copper miners.
“Freeport’s share price performance is justified based on what’s happened in copper, based on the progress in negotiations and based on the fact that … the stock is not very widely held,” said Jefferies mining analyst Christopher LaFemina.
“This is a stock that many investors have not liked. It’s under-owned and has had some good news. That tends to be a recipe for a higher share price.”
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