Freeport-McMoRan announces revised operating plans

April 27, 2020

Freeport-McMoRan Inc. announced plans to cut costs and spending after its first-quarter revenue fell by $1 billion from the year-earlier period. The company said it will institute furloughs and executive salary cuts as part of its plan to adjust to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The revised operating plan includes $1.3 billion (18 percent) reduction in 2020 estimated operating costs; $800 million (30 percent) reduction in 2020 capital expenditures; $100 million (20 percent) reduction in 2020 estimated in estimated and administrative costs and a reduction of 400 million pounds (15 percent) in the Americas 2020 estimated copper sales.

Freeport-McMoRan is the world’s largest copper producer announced the moves in a regulatory filing of its Q1 financial results, which showed revenue of $2.8 billion, down from $3.8 billion from the same quarter in 2019. The company reported a $491 million net loss, or 34 cents a share, compared with a profit of $321 million, or 2 cents a share, in the first quarter of 2019.

The company’s report said cost saving initiatives would also include furloughs and buyouts, along with benefits and bonus reductions. President and CEO Richard Adkerson and Chief Financial Officer Kathleen Quirk will have their salaries reduced by 25 percent through the end of the year and have agreed to “forgo substantially all their reduced cash salary for the remainder of 2020,” the filing said.

The company said its moves were designed to protect employees’ health and well-being, ensure safe operations and protect the company’s liquidity.

In the face of the coronavirus pandemic, which caused the closure of a company mine in New Mexico after workers there were stricken with the virus, the company said it has taken steps to stop the spread of Covid-19. Those include physical distancing, travel restrictions, sanitizing and frequent health screening and monitoring, the Phoenix Business Journal reported.

The company said it also is providing monetary support, medical supplies and food in communities where it operates across the globe.
"Our global team is demonstrating an effective response to protect the health of our workforce, provide for business continuity, and support our communities during this unprecedented challenge,” Adkerson said in a statement. “The prudent steps we are taking to safeguard our business, address costs and capital spending, and preserve our strong liquidity position are necessary to protect long-term asset values in the current weak and uncertain economic environment and to position us to ramp up and resume normal operations safely and quickly as health and economic conditions improve.

"Our team has substantial experience in successfully executing under volatile market conditions. I am confident that we will overcome the current challenges and 'prove our mettle' as we have effectively done in previous periods of economic weakness.”


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