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FREEPORT-McMoRan COPPER & GOLD INC. REPORTS FIRST-QUARTER 2000 RESULTS.

Business Editors

NEW ORLEANS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 18, 2000

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (NYSE:FCX.A)(NYSE:FCX):

HIGHLIGHTS

-- Net income for Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (FCX) for

the first quarter of 2000 was $0.06 per share compared with

$0.11 per share in the year-ago period. Higher copper price

realizations were more than offset by lower copper and gold

sales volumes resulting from the expected mining of lower

grade ore.

-- FCX's Indonesian mining unit, PT Freeport Indonesia,

recorded sales of 305.9 million pounds of copper and 444,200

ounces of gold during the first quarter of 2000.

-- FCX maintained its position as the lowest cost copper

producer in the world with average net cash production

costs, including gold and silver credits, of $0.24 per pound

of copper for the first quarter of 2000. Unit costs

increased from year-ago levels because of lower copper ore

grades and higher mine equipment maintenance and fuel costs.

-- In March 2000, a Louisiana district court dismissed with

prejudice a lawsuit, originally filed in 1996 against FCX,

brought on behalf of an Indonesian citizen. A substantially

identical lawsuit filed in the U.S. federal courts was

similarly dismissed with prejudice in November 1999.

-- FCX purchased 3.5 million shares of its common stock during

the first quarter under its Board-authorized share

repurchase program.

-- FCX generated operating cash flow of $145.6 million during

the first quarter of 2000, from which capital expenditures,

stock repurchases and debt reduction were funded. Total

March 31, 2000 debt of $2,143.4 million was slightly below

the year-end 1999 level and $216.9 million below the

year-ago amount.


 First Quarter
 -----------------------------
 2000 1999
 ------------- -------------
 (In thousands, except
 per share amounts)
Revenues $467,592 $415,836
Operating income 123,685 129,080
Net income 9,241 17,710
Diluted net income per share .06 .11
Diluted average shares outstanding 162,544 164,017


Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. reported first-quarter 2000 net income applicable to common stock of $9,241,000, $0.06 per share, compared with first-quarter 1999 net income of $17,710,000, $0.11 per share. The following factors contributed to the difference between the quarterly periods:

-- PRODUCTION AND SALES. PT Freeport Indonesia's sales volumes

in the first quarter of 2000 reflected higher mine/mill

throughput rates which were more than offset by lower ore

grades compared to the 1999 quarter. Sales for 2000 continue

to be expected to approximate 1.4 billion pounds of copper

and 1.9 million ounces of gold. Second-quarter 2000 sales

are expected to approximate 320 million pounds of copper and

410,000 ounces of gold.

-- SALES PRICING. PT Freeport Indonesia's copper concentrate

sales agreements provide for provisional pricing at the time

of shipment with final pricing settlement generally based on

the average LME copper price for a specified future period.

Copper revenues on provisionally priced pounds are adjusted

monthly until final settlement. First-quarter 2000 revenues

included favorable adjustments to December 31, 1999 open

concentrate sales, excluding intercompany sales, totaling

$9.4 million ($4.6 million to net income, $0.03 per share),

compared with first-quarter 1999 unfavorable revenue

adjustments totaling $1.2 million ($0.6 million to net

income, less than $0.01 per share).

At March 31, 2000, copper sales totaling 174.9 million

pounds remained to be finally priced. These sales were

recorded at an average provisional price of $0.75 per pound.

Approximately 90 percent of these open pounds are expected

to be finally priced during the second quarter of 2000, with

the remaining pounds to be finally priced during the third

quarter of 2000. A one cent change in the average price

realized for these open pounds would have an approximate

$0.9 million, $0.005 per share, effect on our 2000 net

income.

-- CASH PRODUCTION COSTS. Average net cash production costs,

including gold and silver credits, were $0.24 per pound of

copper during the first quarter of 2000, compared with $0.08

per pound in the first quarter of 1999. Per pound site

production and delivery costs were higher in the first

quarter of 2000 ($0.47 in 2000 versus $0.38 in 1999) as a

result of lower copper ore grades and higher equipment

maintenance and fuel costs. Gold credits were lower ($0.43

in 2000 versus $0.50 in 1999) reflecting lower gold ore

grades. These variances were partially offset by slightly

lower unit treatment charges ($0.18 in 2000 versus $0.19 in

1999).

-- ATLANTIC COPPER, S.A. Atlantic Copper, FCX's wholly owned

Spanish smelting unit, recorded operating income of $4.0

million for the first quarter of 2000 compared with $8.4

million in the 1999 period reflecting lower treatment charge

rates. Industry-wide lower treatment charges benefited PT

Freeport Indonesia's operating income, as noted above.

Atlantic Copper's cathode cash production costs of $0.12 per

pound of copper in the first quarter of 2000 compared

favorably with $0.13 per pound in the 1999 quarter,

primarily because of higher production volumes and favorable

currency exchange rates. Profits on intercompany sales from

PT Freeport Indonesia to Atlantic Copper that remain in

Atlantic Copper's inventories are deferred and recognized as

income when the copper concentrate is processed and sold.

Recognizing income from previously deferred intercompany

sales to Atlantic Copper increased FCX's first-quarter 2000

net income by $15.3 million, $0.09 per share, compared with

an increase in first-quarter 1999 net income of $10.6

million, $0.06 per share.

-- PT SMELTING. PT Smelting, PT Freeport Indonesia's 25 percent

owned Indonesian smelting unit, remains on schedule to

operate at its full design capacity rate (200,000 metric

tons of copper per year) in the second half of 2000. At the

end of March, PT Smelting performed a planned shut down of

the smelter for the tie-in of a new third anode furnace as

well as scheduled maintenance. The smelter is expected to

restart at the end of April. PT Freeport Indonesia rovides

100 percent of PT Smelting's concentrate requirements. FCX

recorded operating income of $2.2 million ($0.6 million to

net income, less than $0.01 per share) for PT Smelting

during the first quarter of 2000, compared with a $7.5

million operating loss ($5.1 million reduction in net

income, $0.03 per share) in the 1999 quarter. These amounts

include the effects of the deferral of intercompany profits

on 25 percent of PT Freeport Indonesia's sales to PT

Smelting that remain in PT Smelting's inventory at the end

of a period. The deferral resulted in a $4.0 million benefit

to operating income in first-quarter 2000 quarter and a

$2.3 million reduction in operating income in the 1999

quarter.

OTHER ACTIVITIES

-- Exploration. FCX reported $2.0 million of exploration

expenses in the first quarter of 2000. All exploration

costs in the FCX/Rio Tinto plc joint venture areas now

are shared 60% by FCX and 40% by Rio Tinto. FCX's

exploration program includes the Block A and Block B

areas of PT Freeport Indonesia's contract of work, the

PT Irja Eastern Minerals Corporation contract of work

area and the PT Nabire Bakti Mining contract of work

area. In PT Freeport Indonesia's Block A area we are

evaluating potential resources in areas adjacent to

known reserves, as well as conducting exploration for

new resource/reserve targets. Exploration activities in

Block B, including drilling, are ongoing along the

South Slope adjacent to the Block A area. Preparations

also are underway for a drilling campaign at the Logari

copper-gold target in Block II of PT Irja Eastern

Mineral's contract area, and detailed follow-up

exploration efforts, including the drilling of the

Obano and Komopa targets within PT Nabire Bakti's

contract area, are planned.

-- General and Administrative Expenses. First-quarter 2000

general and administrative expenses totaled $20.7

million, which included $6.0 million for contribution

commitments to support small business development

programs within Irian Jaya (Papua) over a two-year

period and a $1.5 million reversal of costs for stock

appreciation rights caused by the decrease in FCX's

common stock price during the quarter. Excluding these

items, general and administrative expenses were

essentially unchanged from the 1999 first quarter.

-- Stock Purchases. As part of its previously announced

open market share purchase programs, FCX purchased 3.5

million shares of its common stock during the first

quarter of 2000 for $60.6 million, approximately $17.17

per share. Since July 1995, FCX has purchased 54.5

million common shares, a 25 percent reduction in the

214.5 million common shares available for purchase

during the period, at an average price of $20.10 per

share for a total of approximately $1.1 billion. On

March 31, 2000, FCX had outstanding 62.3 million shares

of Class A common stock and 97.7 million shares of

Class B common stock, and approximately 5.5 million

shares remain available for purchase under FCX's 60

million open market share purchase programs.

-- Operating Cash Flow and Debt Reduction. Operating cash

flow generated in the first quarter of 2000 totaled

$145.6 million, from which capital expenditures, the

stock purchases discussed above and debt reduction were

funded. Total March 31, 2000 debt of $2,143.4 million

was slightly below the year-end 1999 level and $216.9

million below the year-ago amount.

-- State Court Dismisses Complaint against FCX. As

previously announced, the Civil District Court for the

Parish of Orleans, State of Louisiana dismissed with

prejudice the third amended complaint filed against FCX

on behalf of an Indonesian citizen. The trial judge

ruled on March 21, 2000 that the plaintiff's petition

failed to state a cause of action against FCX. The

lawsuit, originally filed in 1996, had been amended

three times previously. In this ruling, the judge cited

legal authority prohibiting "vain and useless"

arguments and concluded that the plaintiff "cannot set

forth facts" establishing liability for alleged torts

in Indonesia. A substantially identical lawsuit filed

in the U.S. federal courts by the same attorney on

behalf of another Indonesian citizen was similarly

dismissed with prejudice in November 1999.

FCX explores for, develops, mines and processes ore

containing copper, gold and silver in Indonesia, and

smelts and refines copper concentrates in Spain and

Indonesia.

Cautionary Statement. This press release contains forward-looking statements in which we discuss factors we believe may affect our performance in the future. Forward-looking statements are all statements other than historical facts, such as statements regarding anticipated sales volumes, ore grades, the impact of copper and gold price changes and PT Smelting production levels. Important factors that might cause future results to differ from these projections include industry risks, commodity prices and other factors described in FCX's Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 1999 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

A copy of this press release is available by calling 800/469-1253 and on our web site at www.fcx.com. A conference call with securities analysts about first-quarter 2000 results will be held today at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time. The conference call will be broadcast on the Internet. Interested parties may listen to the conference call live by accessing the call on www.vcall.com. A replay of the call will be available on www.vcall.com through Friday, April 28, 2000.


 FREEPORT-McMoRan COPPER & GOLD INC.
 SELECTED OPERATING DATA
 (Page 1 of 2)

 First Quarter
 ------------------
 2000 1999
 ------- -------
PT Freeport Indonesia, Net of Rio Tinto's Interest
Copper
 Production (000s of recoverable pounds) 308,500 354,300
 Sales (000s of recoverable pounds) 305,900 346,300
 Average realized price $.76 $.64
Gold
 Production (recoverable ounces) 447,300 609,800
 Sales (recoverable ounces) 444,200 599,400
 Average realized price $288.10 $284.99
Silver
 Production (recoverable ounces) 774,000 693,800
 Sales (recoverable ounces) 756,000 682,500
 Average realized price $5.04 $5.06

PT Freeport Indonesia gross profit per pound of copper (cents):
Average realized price 76.1 63.7
 ---- ----
Production costs:
 Site production and delivery 47.4 37.6
 Gold and silver credits (43.2) (50.2)
 Treatment charges 18.1 19.3
 Royalty on metals 1.3 1.5
 ---- ----
 Cash production costs 23.6 8.2
 Depreciation and amortization 18.0 18.0
 ---- ----
 Total production costs 41.6 26.2
 ---- ----
Adjustments, primarily for copper pricing on
 prior year open sales 0.7 (2.3)
 ---- ----
Gross profit per pound of copper 35.2 35.2
 ==== ====
Atlantic Copper
Concentrate treated (metric tons) 244,700 238,600
Anodes (000s of pounds)
 Production 178,300 164,000
 Sales 33,700 21,800
Cathodes (000s of pounds)
 Production 143,600 139,000
 Sales (including wire rod and wire) 137,100 138,400
Gold sales in anodes and slimes (ounces) 211,200 186,000
Cathode cash production cost per pound $.12 $.13

PT Smelting
Concentrate treated (metric tons) 118,300 41,600
Anodes (000s of pounds)
 Production 76,700 25,300
 Sales 10,300 3,300
Cathodes (000s of pounds)
 Production 70,000 5,800
 Sales 66,600 400


 FREEPORT-McMoRan COPPER & GOLD INC.
 SELECTED OPERATING DATA
 (Page 2 of 2)


 First Quarter
 ------------------
 2000 1999
 ------- -------
PT Freeport Indonesia, 100% Operating
 Statistics
Ore milled (metric tons per day) 231,600 221,700
Average ore grade
 Copper (percent) .94 1.14
 Gold (grams per metric ton) .99 1.31
 Gold (ounce per metric ton) .032 .042
 Silver (grams per metric ton) 2.83 2.77
 Silver (ounce per metric ton) .091 .089
Recovery rates (percent)
 Copper 85.6 82.3
 Gold 84.8 84.9
 Silver 51.1 60.1
Copper (000s of recoverable pounds)
 Production 360,700 396,700
 Sales 358,100 391,000
Gold (recoverable ounces)
 Production 557,000 731,400
 Sales 551,000 722,900
Silver (recoverable ounces)
 Production 831,800 781,100
 Sales 824,100 774,400


 FREEPORT-McMoRan COPPER & GOLD INC.
 STATEMENTS OF INCOME (Unaudited)

 Three Months Ended
 March 31,
 ----------------------
 2000 1999
 --------- ---------
 (In Thousands, Except
 Per Share Amounts)

Revenues $ 467,592/a $ 415,836/a
Cost of sales:
Production and delivery 260,072 189,887
Depreciation and amortization 63,359 70,741
 --------- ---------
 Total cost of sales 323,431 260,628
Exploration expenses 1,968 2,948
Equity in net (income) loss of
 PT Smelting (2,241) 7,523
General and administrative expenses 20,749/b 15,657
 --------- ---------
 Total costs and expenses 343,907 286,756
 --------- ---------
Operating income 123,685 129,080
Interest expense, net (49,935) (50,319)
Other expense, net (4,774) (2,141)
 --------- ---------
Income before income taxes and
 minority interests 68,976 76,620
Provision for income taxes (40,473) (40,076)
Minority interests in net income of
 consolidated subsidiaries (9,772) (10,100)
 --------- ---------
Net income 18,731 26,444
Preferred dividends (9,490) (8,734)
 --------- ---------

Net income applicable to common stock $ 9,241 $ 17,710
 ========= =========
 Net income per share of common stock:
 Basic $.06 $.11
 ==== ====
 Diluted $.06 $.11
 ==== ====
 Average common shares outstanding:
 Basic 161,323 164,017
 ======= =======
 Diluted 162,544 164,017
 ======= =======


a. Includes favorable (unfavorable) adjustments to prior year
 concentrate sales totaling $9.4 million in the 2000 quarter and
 $(1.2) million in the 1999 quarter.

b. Includes a $6.0 million charge for contribution commitments to
 support small business development programs within Irian Jaya
 (Papua) over a two-year period and a $1.5 million reversal of
 costs for stock appreciation rights caused by the decrease in
 FCX's common stock price during the first quarter of 2000.


 FREEPORT-McMoRan COPPER & GOLD INC.
 CONDENSED BALANCE SHEETS (Unaudited)


 March 31, December 31,
 2000 1999
 ----------- ------------
 (In Thousands)
ASSETS
Current assets:
 Cash and cash equivalents $ 5,240 $ 6,698
 Accounts receivable 148,684 172,762
 Inventories 370,257 368,125
 Prepaid expenses and other 14,999 16,869
 ----------- -----------
 Total current assets 539,180 564,454
Property, plant and equipment, net 3,325,439 3,363,291
Investment in PT Smelting 74,028 66,070
Other assets 85,821 89,101
 ----------- -----------
Total assets $ 4,024,468 $ 4,082,916
 =========== ===========

LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY
Current liabilities:
 Accounts payable and accrued liabilities $ 382,318 $ 357,574
 Current portion of long-term debt and
 short-term borrowings 105,527 114,789
 Accrued income taxes 4,127 42,704
 ----------- -----------
 Total current liabilities 491,972 515,067
Long-term debt, less current portion:
 FCX and PT Freeport Indonesia credit
 facilities 730,000 648,000
 Senior notes 570,000 570,000
 Infrastructure asset financings 432,469 443,150
 Atlantic Copper debt 194,379 230,212
 Equipment loans 62,860 65,656
 Rio Tinto loan -- 30,123
 Other notes payable 48,161 46,329
Accrued postretirement benefits and
 other liabilities 98,578 114,677
Deferred income taxes 571,506 553,394
Minority interests 188,290 181,921
Redeemable preferred stock 487,507 487,507
Stockholders' equity 148,746 196,880
 ----------- -----------
Total liabilities and stockholders' equity $ 4,024,468 $ 4,082,916
 =========== ===========


 FREEPORT-McMoRan COPPER & GOLD INC.
 STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOW (Unaudited)


 Three Months Ended
 March 31,
 ----------------------
 2000 1999
 --------- ---------
 (In Thousands)
Cash flow from operating activities:
Net income $ 18,731 $ 26,444
Adjustments to reconcile net income to
 net cash provided by operating
 activities:
 Depreciation and amortization 63,359 70,741
 Deferred income taxes 20,374 19,735
 Equity in net (income) loss of PT Smelting (2,241) 7,523
 Minority interests' share of net income 9,772 10,100
 Other 5,739 7,827
 (Increases) decreases in working capital:
 Accounts receivable 21,010 82,908
 Inventories (3,296) (36,681)
 Prepaid expenses and other 1,869 (1,248)
 Accounts payable and accrued liabilities 51,103 (22,219)
 Accrued income taxes (40,839) (9,760)
 --------- ---------
 Decrease in working capital 29,847 13,000
 --------- ---------
Net cash provided by operating activities 145,581 155,370
 --------- ---------

Cash flow from investing activities:
PT Freeport Indonesia capital expenditures (56,404) (33,091)
Atlantic Copper capital expenditures (1,464) (1,882)
Investment in PT Smelting (5,717) --
 --------- ---------
Net cash used in investing activities (63,585) (34,973)
 --------- ---------

Cash flow from financing activities:
Net repayments to Rio Tinto (42,029) (69,631)
Proceeds from other debt 151,934 59,118
Repayment of other debt (114,429) (85,445)
Purchase of FCX common shares (60,649) (7,765)
Cash dividends paid:
 Preferred stock (9,508) (9,592)
 Minority interests (3,946) (2,990)
Other (4,827) (4,612)
 --------- ---------
Net cash used in financing activities (83,454) (120,917)
 --------- ---------
Net decrease in cash and cash equivalents (1,458) (520)
Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of year 6,698 5,877
 --------- ---------
Cash and cash equivalents at end of period $ 5,240 $ 5,357
 ========= =========
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