2 Mining Stocks Gapping Higher After Earnings

Stronger commodities prices helped FCX score a profit beat

Jan 25, 2018 at 10:12 AM
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The latest round of corporate earnings reports has sparked a risk-on session on Wall Street, with the major market indexes carving out new record highs. Among specific names rising on positive earnings reactions are mining stocks Cleveland-Cliffs Inc (NYSE:CLF) and Freeport-McMoRan Inc (NYSE:FCX). Here's a closer look at how shares of CLF and FCX are trading today.

Cleveland-Cliffs Stock Rallies Past Key Resistance After Earnings

Cleveland-Cliffs reported fourth-quarter earnings of $1.05 per share -- blowing past the consensus estimate for a per-share profit of $0.20. CLF also said it would accelerate its plan to close its Australian mining operations.

As a result, CLF stock is up 8.7% to trade at $9.08, breaking free of a key technical level. In fact, several rally attempts made by the shares over the past 12 months have been quickly contained in the $8.80-$8.90 region, which served as a floor last January. Most recently, the equity has been surging off its early December lows just below $6, up more than 52%.

Part of this upside was likely driven by short sellers, too. Short interest dropped 26% in the most recent reporting period to 38.03 million shares. This still accounts for 16.4% of Cleveland-Cliffs stock's available float, or 4.1 times the average daily pace of trading.

Bearish Freeport-McMoRan Options Prices Cheap Amid Surge

Freeport-McMoRan cited stronger commodity prices and increasing productivity for its fourth-quarter adjusted profit beat of $0.51. The company also waxed optimistic on talks with the Indonesian government over the Grasberg mining pit.

At last check, FCX stock was trading 1% lower at $19.40, but managed to hit a two-year high of $20.25 out of the gate. This is just more of the same for the shares, which have shot up 50% since taking a sharp bounce off their 200-day moving average in mid-November.

This impressive price action has put options prices imploding, relative to their call counterparts. FCX's 30-day implied volatility skew of negative 5.9% ranks below 99% of all comparable readings taken in the past year.

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