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Copper Miners’ First-Quarter Report Card: Hits and Misses


Nov. 20 2020, Updated 12:13 p.m. ET

First-quarter performance

We’re now reaching the end of the first quarter earnings season, and most mining companies have already released their quarterly earnings results. Some companies—including Glencore (GLNCY) and Antofagasta (ANTO)—have released only their quarterly production reports and not metrics like revenue and net profits, which they only release twice a year.

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Freeport-McMoRan (FCX) released its first-quarter earnings on April 24 and saw a selling spree after its earnings miss and management’s commentary on Indonesia operations rattled investors. See 5 Reasons Freeport-McMoRan Fell after Its 1Q18 Release to see what spooked markets in the company’s earnings report. Southern Copper (SCCO) also missed consensus earnings estimates this quarter.

Copper has seen weakness this year. Prior, it saw strong gains in the previous two years. A stronger US dollar, higher geopolitical risk, and concerns over copper’s higher-than-expected supply seem to be denting copper market sentiments.  See Copper Miners Still Hated by the Street after Earnings for how analysts revised their ratings on copper miners after their first-quarter earnings release.

Series overview

In this series, we’ll explore some of the key highlights of copper miners’ first-quarter earnings and production profiles. We’ll also look at the production guidance provided by different copper miners (XME).

Let’s begin by looking at copper miners’ first-quarter production profile in the next part of this series.


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