Unit cash production costs are a key metric for investors in the metals and mining space.
Coal is one of the key commodities for BHP and contributes 21% of its revenues and 20% if its underlying EBITDA.
Iron ore prices were very strong in 2016 and have remained so year-to-date. Prices increased by more than 80% in 2016.
Iron ore makes up 38% of BHP Billiton’s (BHP) revenues and 42% of its EBITDA.
BHP’s underlying net profit of $3.2 million was a solid improvement, as compared to the profit of $412 million in 4Q15.
If Freeport-McMoRan completely shuts down its Grasberg mine, there could be a significant impact on the company.
The real estate and construction sector is one of the largest copper consumers.
Although copper has faced surplus production levels, the surplus isn’t as much as steel and aluminum.
Copper closed at $2.73 per pound on February 22, 2017. So far, copper has risen 9.6% in 2017.
Miners such as Freeport-McMoRan (FCX) and BHP Billiton (BHP) depend on Chinese metal demand.
Freeport-McMoRan’s (FCX) Grasberg mine has been in the headlines for the past couple of years, mostly for negative reasons.
On a year-to-date basis, AngloGold Ashanti, Hecla Mining, Eldorado Gold, and Alacer Gold have seen reasonable rises of 25.8%, 23.1%, 14.3%, and 31.7%, respectively.
Mining companies that have high correlations with gold include B2Gold (BTG), Royal Gold (RGLD), Agnico Eagle Mines (AEM), and Primero Mining (PPP).
Precious metals mining stocks are known to closely track the performances of precious metals. Mining stocks often display more volatility than precious metals.
Scotts Miracle-Gro (SMG) announced its 1Q17 earnings on January 31, 2017. It posted a loss per share of $1.08 against the estimated $1.25 loss per share.
FMC reported its 4Q16 earnings on February 6, 2017, with EPS (earnings per share) of $0.56 compared to -$0.70 in 4Q15.
On January 5, 2017, Monsanto (MON) announced its fiscal 1Q17 earnings. EPS was $0.21 per share, which was better than analysts’ estimate of flat earnings.
Intrepid Potash is set to announce its 4Q16 earnings on February 28, 2017. Analysts expect it to report EPS of -$0.12 compared to EPS of -$0.06 in 4Q15.
CF Industries (CF) reported its 4Q16 earnings on February 15, 2017, posting an adjusted loss per share of $0.39 and missing analysts’ estimate of $0.05.
Agrium announced its 4Q16 earnings on February 9, 2017. It reported EPS (earnings per share) of $0.49 compared to $1.46 in 4Q15.