Shares Drop with Freeport’s Revenue Report
As the winter winds howl and blow on the streets of Leadville Today, it’s news from underground that is creating the buzz on market websites and social media platforms. Last week, Freeport-McMoran Inc., owner of the Climax Mine located in northern Lake County, reported its fourth-quarter earnings. And by all market accounts, it was a miss for both earnings and revenue for the international mining conglomeration which has both an economic and historic bond with Leadville.
In a news release released on Thursday, Jan. 24, the copper and gold mining giant reported:
“Fourth-quarter 2018 consolidated copper and gold sales were lower than consolidated production of 841 million pounds of copper and 334,000 ounces of gold because of timing of shipments”.
Regardless of the reason, stock market fluctuations continue today, seeing FCX shares fall in the range from 5 – 11% as reported by industry experts, like Market Watch and The Motley Fool. Last year, Freeport sent sizeable waves through the market by announcing that 2019 is set to be a transitional year for the company as it goes from open-pit mining to underground mining at its holding in Grasberg. For readers unfamiliar with this property, it is located in Indonesia and is the world’s second-largest copper mine. After years of negotiations, last September saw an announcement concerning a shift in the mine’s majority holdings which caught the attention of investors.
So how does that impact Leadville? Well, anytime the parent company of one of the biggest tax-paying landowners in Lake County’s backyard announces that its “operating cash flows will decrease,” it affects main street.
While the announcement can impact personal financial portfolios, it could also result in adjustments to the Climax Community Investment Funds that many Lake County non-profits benefit from. Of course, there’s always the possibility of an employment shift at the company’s local holding The Climax Mine. And while no formal announcement has been released specific to any changes at Climax, it’s no secret that the mining company has been foreshadowing its downsizing to local officials for years.
How’s That Rainy Day Fund Holding Up?
So yes, it’s worth keeping an eye on the situation as the Grasberg mine transition continues throughout 2019. But even in a change-up year, industry experts expect initial market share fluctuations to stabilize, reflecting the strength of the Freeport’s worldwide assets. In closing, here is Richard C. Adkerson, Freeport’s President and Chief Executive Officer official statement on the situation:
“During 2018, our global team achieved strong operating results with an ongoing focus on safety, productivity, cost management and capital discipline. We were successful in establishing a new partnership with the Indonesian government, which protects our long-term value at Grasberg. We continued to strengthen our balance sheet, commenced development of an exciting new copper project at Lone Star in Eastern Arizona, completed important construction projects to support long-term underground mining at Grasberg and added new reserves to our portfolio to extend mine lives and enhance future growth options.”
“As we enter 2019, our priorities are focused on achieving important milestones to ramp-up production from our large-scale underground assets in the Grasberg minerals district, continuing our focus on productivity and cost management, advancing the Lone Star project and defining future growth options from our large portfolio of reserves and resources. Despite recent market uncertainty, we remain confident in the fundamentals and long-term outlook for copper and the opportunities to deliver substantial value to shareholders from our premier portfolio of geographically diverse long-lived copper assets.”
Readers can review the official news release HERE, which includes more specific market reports as well as detailed financial data.
Retail News: Something Closed, Something New
In other Leadville business news, by now most locals have seen the sign swingers down at Shopko which announced last month its plans to close a number of stores across the country, including the one in Leadville. The Green Bay-based retailer is closing 39 locations, most of them Shopko Hometown stores, after a liquidation sale which began last month just before the holiday season. The stores are expected to close at the end of February.
Shopko was founded in Green Bay in 1962. It currently operates 363 stores in 24 states. In 2005, the retailer partnered with Sun Capital Partners. The investment firm specializes in buyouts, debt and private equity. While the rumors swirl about possible new tenants in the sizeable retail space located on anchors southern Harrison Avenue.
“In CST, we acquire a company with a strategic value that will efficiently complement our network,” Couche-Tard CEO Brian Hannasch said in a statement. “We bring in great new locations as well as expertise and experience which are likely to allow us to venture into new opportunities.”
Locals are just hoping one of those new “opportunities” includes a decent sign, considering the sale took place more than 18 months ago in June 2017.