Freeport-McMoRan Inc (FCX) Chairman, James Moffett Resigns

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Shares of Freeport-McMoRan Inc (NYSE:FCX) are down considerably in late afternoon trading today after the company’s co-founder and chairman, James “Jim Bob” Moffett has announced that he will be stepping down from his position with the company. This move comes after activist investor Carl Icahn had recently announced that he will be seeking a seat on the company’s board.

“During his over 50-year career in the natural resource industry, Jim Bob has become an icon as an explorationist,” said Gerald J. Ford, the man who will replace Moffett as a non-executive chairman. “Freeport-McMoRan has been built from his exceptional leadership, strong work ethic and vast knowledge of both the industry and our company’s operations.”

Moffett was an original founder of McMoRan Oil & Gas Co. way back in 1969, and his company eventually merged with Freeport Minerals Co to become Freeport-McMoRan Inc (NYSE:FCX). The stock is down 9.64% or $0.73 following the news, hitting $6.84 per share. Approximately 38.02 million shares traded hands. FCX shares have declined 63.94% since May 22, 2015 and are currently downtrending. It has underperformed the S&P500 by 60.87%.

From a total of 11 analysts covering Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold (NYSE:FCX) stock, 5 rate it a “Buy”, 1 a “Sell”, and 5 a “Hold”. This means that 45% of the ratings are positive. The highest target price is $25 while the lowest target price is $8. The mean of all analyst targets is $15.75 which is 130.26% above today’s ($6.84) stock price. Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold was the topic of 24 analyst reports since July 28, 2015 according to the firm StockzIntelligence Inc. FBR Capital maintained shares on December 10 with a “Mkt Perform” rating. S&P Research upgraded shares to a”Hold” rating and a $12 target share price in their report from a September 1. Deutsche Bank downgraded FCX stock in a recent report from October 5 to a “Hold” rating. Citigroup downgraded the rating on September 1. Citigroup has a “Neutral” rating and a $12 price target on shares. Finally, Zacks upgraded the stock to a “Strong Sell” rating in a report they issued on a September 1.

The institutional sentiment increased to 1.03 in Q2 2015. It’s up 0.35, from 0.68 in 2015Q2. The ratio increased, as 110 funds sold all their Freeport-McMoRan Inc shares they owned while 236 reduced their positions. 86 funds bought stakes while 270 increased their total positions. Institutions now own 872.60 million shares which is 20.85% more than the previous share count of 722.03 million in 2015Q2.

Northern Cross Llc holds 6.91% of its total portfolio in Freeport-McMoRan Inc, equating to 27.13 million shares. Stuyvesant Capital Management owns 270,124 shares representing 6.61% of their total US portfolio. Moreover, Long Oar Global Investors Llc has 5.59% of their total portfolio invested in the company, equating to 125,000 shares. The Washington-based Washington State Investment Board has a total of 3.8% of their portfolio invested in the stock. Pacific Heights Asset Management Llc, a California-based fund reported 4.58 million shares owned.

Freeport-McMoRan Inc. is a natural resource firm with an industry portfolio of mineral assets, oil and natural gas resources, and a production profile. The company has a market cap of $8.67 billion. FCX has organized its activities into six primary divisions: North America copper mines, South America mining, Indonesia mining, Africa mining, Molybdenum mines, and United States gas and oil operations. It currently has negative earnings. The Company’s portfolio of assets includes the Grasberg minerals district in Indonesia, mining activities in North and South America, the Tenke Fungurume (Tenke) minerals district in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in Africa, and oil and natural gas assets in North America.

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