Freeport-McMoRan Inc (FCX) Shares Plunge As Bankruptcy Rumors Persist


Shares of Freeport-McMoRan Inc (NYSE:FCX) are down considerably in late morning trading today after the stock has hit new 15-year lows. The main culprit for today’s plunge is a drop in copper prices to new 6 and a half year lows on Monday, along with a ratings downgrade by Fitch to BBB- from BBB on Friday.

Complicating, and perhaps exacerbating these issues are rumors by investors and traders alike that a possible bankruptcy may be coming if Freeport-McMoRan Inc (NYSE:FCX) can not figure things out quickly. While these are just rumors, many traders seem to be jumping the gun and selling their shares, especially after the stock has plunged over 70% in the last three months alone. With an EPS of ($10.48) and commodity prices continuing to plunge, things don’t exactly look bright for this company.

The stock has fallen 10.79% or $0.46 following this negative news, hitting $3.85 per share. Approximately 25.70 million shares traded hands. FCX shares have declined 77.78% since June 8, 2015 and are currently downtrending. It has underperformed the S&P500 by 70.30%.

From a total of 13 analysts covering Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold (NYSE:FCX) stock, 5 rate it a “Buy”, 1 a “Sell”, and 7 a “Hold”. This means that 38% of the ratings are positive. The highest target price is $25 while the lowest target price is $7.30. The mean of all analyst targets is $14.62 which is 279.74% above today’s ($3.85) stock price. Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold was the topic of 26 analyst reports since July 28, 2015 according to the firm StockzIntelligence Inc. Jefferies downgraded shares on January 12 to a “Hold” rating. Gabelli initiated shares with a”Buy” rating and a $20.25 target share price in their report from a September 11. FBR Capital maintained FCX stock in a recent report from December 10 with a “Mkt Perform” rating. S&P Research upgraded the rating on September 1. S&P Research has a “Hold” rating and a $12 price target on shares. Finally, Deutsche Bank downgraded the stock to a “Hold” rating in a report they issued on an October 5.

The institutional sentiment increased to 1.03 in Q2 2015. It’s up 0.35, from 0.68 in 2015Q2. The ratio improved, 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 $4.45 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.