Southern Copper (SCCO) Rating Lowered to Strong Sell at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Southern Copper (NYSE:SCCO) from a hold rating to a strong sell rating in a research report released on Monday.

According to Zacks, “In the first nine-month period of 2018, Southern Copper's copper production dipped 0.3% year over year due to lower production at the Buenavista SX-EW plant. The company has developed a 12-month corrective program to overcome this temporary reduction in production. Though it expects an 18% sequential increase in copper production for the facility in the fourth quarter, it has led to lower production for the full year. The company has thus cut down copper production guidance for fiscal 2018 to 885,000 tons from the prior 901,000 tons. Also, current weakness in metal prices and high debt remain concerns. The company has lagged the industry over the past six months. The estimates for fourth quarter 2018 and fiscal 2018 and fiscal 2019 have undergone negative earnings revision lately. Also, the company has a negative record of earrnings surprises over the last four quarters. “

Other research analysts also recently issued reports about the company. B. Riley lowered their price objective on Southern Copper from $55.00 to $49.00 and set a neutral rating for the company in a research note on Wednesday, September 19th. Citigroup upgraded Southern Copper from a sell rating to a neutral rating and set a $43.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Monday, October 8th. Bradesco Corretora upgraded Southern Copper from an underperform rating to a hold rating and lowered their price objective for the stock from $45.00 to $42.00 in a research note on Tuesday, November 20th. HSBC downgraded Southern Copper from a hold rating to a reduce rating in a research note on Monday, November 26th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. upgraded Southern Copper from an underweight rating to a neutral rating and lowered their price objective for the stock from $47.00 to $34.50 in a research note on Thursday, December 6th. Six analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $42.26.

Shares of SCCO opened at $31.99 on Monday. The company has a quick ratio of 1.88, a current ratio of 2.71 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.90. Southern Copper has a 12 month low of $31.17 and a 12 month high of $58.09.

Southern Copper (NYSE:SCCO) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 24th. The basic materials company reported $0.48 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.50 by ($0.02). The company had revenue of $1.72 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.80 billion. Southern Copper had a return on equity of 14.97% and a net margin of 13.24%. On average, analysts forecast that Southern Copper will post 2.11 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, November 21st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, November 7th were paid a $0.40 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, November 6th. This represents a $1.60 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 5.00%.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Marshall Wace North America L.P. bought a new position in shares of Southern Copper in the third quarter worth $4,329,000. Marshall Wace LLP bought a new position in shares of Southern Copper in the third quarter worth $8,595,000. Morgan Stanley grew its stake in shares of Southern Copper by 85.1% in the third quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 934,501 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $40,315,000 after purchasing an additional 429,726 shares in the last quarter. Legal & General Group Plc grew its stake in shares of Southern Copper by 0.6% in the third quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 496,932 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $21,444,000 after purchasing an additional 3,191 shares in the last quarter. Finally, TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC grew its stake in shares of Southern Copper by 2.9% in the third quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 333,977 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $14,408,000 after purchasing an additional 9,515 shares in the last quarter. 7.32% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Southern Copper Company Profile

Southern Copper Corporation engages in mining, exploring, smelting, and refining copper and other minerals in Peru, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, and Ecuador. The company is involved in the mining, milling, and flotation of copper ore to produce copper and molybdenum concentrates; smelting of copper concentrates to produce blister and anode copper; refining of anode copper to produce copper cathodes; production of molybdenum concentrate and sulfuric acid; production of refined silver, gold, and other materials; and mining and processing of zinc and lead.

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