The price of copper has been in a free fall. With the global economy and construction expected to slow down, there is no saying where these commodoties will be in the future. However, here are four well-managed companies that will continue to be profitable. If the price of copper rebounds to previous levels, each of these stocks is on track to increase more than 50%.
Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (NYSE:FCX) engages in the exploration, mining, and production of mineral resources. The company primarily explores for copper, gold, molybdenum, silver, and cobalt.
Freeport has fallen from more than $50 a share to $30. The thing I like about Freeport is that it has a gold segment. Even with copper prices falling so low, the price of gold should provide a cushion for the company. Freeport has a forward P/E of 5 and pays a 3.3% dividend.
Southern Copper Corporation (NYSE:SCCO) engages in mining, exploring, smelting, and refining copper ores in Peru, Mexico, and Chile. It involves in the production of copper and molybdenum concentrates, smelting of copper concentrates to produce anode copper, and refining of anode copper to produce copper cathodes.
If you are a yield-hungry investor, then you may want to take a look at Southern Copper. With the stock being hammered, the yield has risen quite nicely and stands at almost 10%. Although the dividend payments vary greatly, the company has enough free cash flow to cover the payments. This is the stock to be in if you are looking for a high yield as well as getting exposure to the copper market. Not to mention the stock has a forward P/E of 7.6.
Vale S.A. (NYSE:VALE) engages in the exploration, production, and sale of basic metals in Brazil.
Vale is the largest miner in the world, and is the most diversified of any on this list. Although the direction of the global economy is still largely unknown, Brazil's economy is still weathering the storm well. The company just recently stated that they would be producing ore at full capacity for 2012. They are saying China's economy is still strong. The stock has a forward P/E of 4.8 and pays a 2% dividend.
Teck Resources Limited (TCK) operates as a diversified mining, mineral processing, and metallurgical company.
Teck was not just hit by the recent downturn in the market, but also with the Japan disaster. Customers in those areas deferred shipment, which meant lower earnings. The company has been getting cheap debt and using it for expansion projects. Teck is a cash cow and generates billions each year. The stock has a forward P/E of 5.2 and pays a 2.1% dividend.
The copper market could still remain volatile for awhile and prices could go lower, but regardless, these companies will remain profitable. I think it is completely reasonable to start taking small positions. As always, do your own research before purchasing these securities.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.