Freeport warns on Indonesia but investors cheer temporary exports

|By:, SA News Editor

Freeport McMoRan (NYSE:FCX) rallied 7.1% in today's trade even after saying the months-long export ban by the Indonesian government at its Grasberg mine had been costly, hurting production and sales and prompting a reduction in operating cash flow guidance.

FCX did gain a six-month export permit Friday that coincided with VP Pence's state visit and has ramped up production and copper concentrate shipments from Grasberg at least for now, and "the market is used to bad news on the Indonesian front, so anything that can be construed as optimistic is what the market is focusing on," says Clarksons Platou analyst Jeremy Sussman.

In its earnings conference call, CEO Richard Adkerson said the cost of failure would be high for FCX and its Grasberg joint venture partner Rio Tinto (NYSE:RIO); FCX has planned ~$1B/year in Indonesian spending for the next five years, and $700M of its $1.6B 2017 capex budget is earmarked for Grasberg's underground expansion.