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First Quantum (OTCPK:FQVLF) joined the ranks of large copper producers when it completed the acquisition of Inmet Mining in April 2013.

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By 2018, First Quantum is expected to produce more copper than BHP Billiton (NYSE:BHP), Southern Copper (NYSE:SCCO) or Rio Tinto (NYSE:RIO) - all "go to" names in the copper space. First Quantum is also a low cost producer with 7 mines in operation worldwide according to its corporate presentation.

The stock has been stuck in a range between $14 and $20 a share for two years and flies below the radar compared to industry leaders like Freeport-McMoRan (NYSE:FCX) and Glencore Xstrata (OTCPK:GLCNF).

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Despite the market apathy, First Quantum is on a solid growth trajectory with projects like Cobre Panama starting up this quarter and Sentinel by year end. Cobre Panama is a world class copper mine in Panama containing some 16 billion pounds of copper and about 4 million ounces of gold with by-product silver and molybdenum while Sentinel is located in Zambia and has about 2 billion pounds of copper.

With a market capitalization of about $11 billion and an enterprise value of just over $12 billion First Quantum trades at just over 9 times 2013 estimated EBITDA of $1.4 billion but less than 6 times my forecast 2015 EBITDA of about $2.6 billion. It is not hard to see the stock in the low $20s during 2014 with longer-term growth to the $30 range provided commodity prices don't fall through the floor.

I have no position in First Quantum right now, but am exploring entry points and option strategies and am likely to take a position shortly. I like the company, its relatively clean balance sheet, growth potential and its diversified resource base.

Source: Dig Deeper With First Quantum As A Long-Term Low Cost Copper Play