Druckenmiller Buys Freeport Before Shares Jump to 15-Month High

  • Duquesne Family Office boosts holdings in copper miner by 41%
  • Outlook for higher metal prices helping boost Freeport shares

Billionaire Stanley Druckenmiller boosted his position in Freeport-McMoRan Inc. last quarter, just before shares of the copper-mining company rallied to a 15-month high.

Duquesne Family Office LLC, chaired by Druckenmiller, bought 1.4 million Freeport shares in the three months through September, expanding its holdings by 41 percent, a regulatory filing showed Monday. Freeport, the largest publicly traded copper producer, is Duquesne’s third-biggest position increase for the period, after iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF and Abbott Laboratories, data show.

Freeport shares have more than doubled this year as the Phoenix-based company sold assets and lowered costs and as Chinese demand stabilized. U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s pledge to spend $550 billion on infrastructure is giving the metal an added lift this month. Druckenmiller told CNBC on Nov. 10 that he’s making a “large bet on economic growth” after Trump’s election.

Shares slipped 0.2 percent to $13.915 at 2:57 p.m. in New York, paring this quarter’s gain to 28 percent. On Nov. 11, the price climbed to $14.26, the highest since July 2015, amid speculation that Trump’s spending plans will accelerate growth in the U.S., spurring demand for copper and other industrial metals.

Copper Outlook

Anthony Young, an analyst at Macquarie, increased his 12-month price target on the stock to $13 from $9, based on the outlook for higher copper prices amid robust demand and “shaky” supply of the metal. He kept his “neutral” rating on Freeport, he said in a note Monday.

Copper and other mined commodities will benefit from U.S. infrastructure spending, Jefferies LLC analysts including Christopher LaFemina, wrote in a note Nov. 9.

“Copper markets have already begun to tighten due to a reemergence of supply problems and stable demand in China,” Jefferies analysts said. Freeport may reach $15 a share over the next year “with much greater upside thereafter,” they said.

Duquesne also bought 325,000 American depositary receipts in BHP Billiton Ltd., while keeping its holdings unchanged in Nucor Corp. at 201,000.

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