Stock Market

Top Copper Stocks for March 2023


Top copper stocks include Ero Copper Corp., Southern Copper Corp., and Taseko Mines Ltd., which have outperformed their peers over the past 12 months.

Copper stocks as a group, represented by the benchmark Global X Copper Miners ETF (COPX), fell 9% in the last year, compared with the Russell 1000 Index’s 4% decline. Copper prices saw dramatic swings in 2022, jumping to a record high after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February before plummeting 35% by July.

Here are the top copper stocks in three categories: best value, fastest growth, and best performance. All company data are as of March 2, and benchmark figures above are as of March 6, 2023. These are stocks of companies that mine for copper, rather than futures that track the copper commodity.

These are the copper stocks with the lowest 12-month trailing price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio. Because profits can be returned to shareholders in the form of dividends and buybacks, a low P/E ratio shows you’re paying less for each dollar of profit generated.

Best Value Copper Stocks
  Price ($) Market Cap ($B) 12-Month Trailing P/E Ratio
Lundin Mining Corp. (LUNMF) 6.61 5.1 11.4
Ero Copper Corp. (ERO.TO) CA$22.58 CA$2.1 11.7
First Quantum Minerals Ltd. (FM.TO) CA$30.81 CA$21.3 16.1

Source: YCharts

  • Lundin Mining Corp.: Lundin is a Canadian company that mines and explores for copper, zinc, gold, nickel, and other metals in Chile, Brazil, Portugal, Sweden, and the U.S. The company’s next quarterly dividend of CA$0.09 (about $0.066) is payable April 12 to shareholders as of March 24.
  • Ero Copper Corp.: Ero is a Canadian company that produces copper, gold, and silver in mining locations primarily in Brazil. It also trades on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the ticker ERO. Ero said its Caraiba operations produced almost 46,400 tonnes of Copper in 2022, beating guidance.
  • First Quantum Minerals Ltd.: First Quantum is a Canadian mining company that explores for and produces copper, nickel, gold, silver, zinc, and acid. It operates mines in countries including Turkey, Spain, Finland, and Zambia. It also trades OTC in the U.S. under the ticker FQVLF.

These are the top copper stocks as ranked by a growth model that scores companies based on a 50/50 weighting of their most recent quarterly YOY percentage revenue growth and their most recent quarterly YOY earnings-per-share (EPS) growth. Both sales and earnings are critical factors in the success of a company. Therefore ranking companies by only one growth metric makes a ranking susceptible to the accounting anomalies of that quarter (such as changes in tax law or restructuring costs) that may make one or the other figure unrepresentative of the business in general. Companies with quarterly EPS or revenue growth of over 2,500% were excluded as outliers.

Fastest Growing Copper Stocks
  Price ($) Market Cap ($B) EPS Growth (%) Revenue Growth (%)
Southern Copper Corp. (SCCO) 76.15 58.9 8.3 -0.1
Capstone Copper Corp. (CS.TO) CA$6.50 CA$4.5 N/A (see description below) 80.3
Freeport-McMoRan Inc. (FCX) 43.00 61.5 -35.1 -6.6

Source: YCharts

  • Southern Copper Corp.: Southern operates copper mines and metallurgical facilities in Mexico and Peru, as well as exploration projects in Argentina, Chile, and Ecuador. Southern Copper’s net income rose 8% in the final quarter of 2022, driven by a 38% increase in zinc sales volume.
  • Capstone Copper Corp.: Capstone is a Canadian copper mining company that operates primarily in the U.S., Mexico, and Chile. Capstone does not have an EPS growth figure in the table above because it posted a net loss in the most recent quarter.
  • Freeport-McMoRan Inc.: Freeport-McMoRan is a natural resources company operating assets with reserves of copper, gold, cobalt, oil, gas, and other minerals.

These are the copper stocks that had the highest total return or lowest decline over the last 12 months

Copper Stocks with the Best Performance
  Price ($) Market Cap ($B) 12-Month Trailing Total Return (%)
Ero Copper Corp. (ERO.TO) CA$22.58 CA$2.1 23.7
Southern Copper Corp. (SCCO) 76.15 58.9 12.7
Taseko Mines Ltd. (TGB) 1.83 0.5 -5.2
Russell 1000 N/A N/A -3.8
Global X Copper Miners ETF (COPX) N/A N/A -8.7

Source: YCharts

  • Ero Copper Corp.: See above for company description.
  • Southern Copper Corp.: See above for company description.
  • Taseko Mines Ltd.: Taseko is a Canadian company that mines for copper and molybdenum. Note that the information in the table above is for the company’s U.S.-listed shares.

Trends in Copper Stocks

Demand for copper will likely rise steadily, as it is a critical element in the energy transition because the metal is used in electric vehicles, charging stations, wind turbines, and solar panels. The price of copper is largely influenced by the health of the global economy. This is due to copper’s widespread applications in all sectors of the economy, as mentioned, and also in construction, factory equipment, and electronics.

The base metal is seen as a reliable leading indicator. A rising market price suggests strong economic health, while a decline suggests the opposite. For example, after rising above $10,000 per metric ton in March 2022 after Russia invaded Ukraine and copper shortages emerged, by the second half of the year, as global recession fears took hold, copper prices headed in the opposite direction.

Risks of Copper Stock Investing

Some risk factors to be aware of when considering investing in copper stocks are commodities prices’ overall tendency to be much more volatile than traditional stock prices and the environmental risks posed by copper mining.

Growing focus on sustainability may force copper miners to use more expensive methods to extract the metal and could add to the world supply shortage. In 2020, for instance, Anglo-Australian copper miner Rio Tinto Plc (RIO) took a hit from environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) investors when it destroyed a site sacred to Indigenous people in Australia. The CEO and two other executives were fired.

The comments, opinions, and analyses expressed herein are for informational purposes only and should not be considered individual investment advice or recommendations to invest in any security or to adopt any investment strategy. While we believe the information provided herein is reliable, we do not warrant its accuracy or completeness. The views and strategies described in our content may not be suitable for all investors. Because market and economic conditions are subject to rapid change, all comments, opinions, and analyses contained within our content are rendered as of the date of the posting and may change without notice. The material is not intended as a complete analysis of every material fact regarding any country, region, market, industry, investment, or strategy.

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