Freeport-McMoRan on Thursday reported a first-quarter profit, compared with a year-ago loss, as the world's largest publicly traded copper producer benefited from higher prices for the red metal from improving global economic recovery prospects.
Benchmark prices for copper, widely used in power and construction, hit a nine-and-a-half year high of $9 617/t on the London Metal Exchange on February 25, within striking distance of the all-time peak of $10 190 set in 2011.
The average price Freeport received for per pound of the metal rose 62% in the quarter, while production increased about 24% to 910-million pounds.
Gold output also jumped over 90% to 297 000 oz. The company posted a net income attributable of $718-million, or 48c a share, for the three months ended March 31, compared with a loss of $491-million, or 34c a share, a year earlier.