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The S&P 500 index was driven higher on Tuesday on news of two international mining companies considering the purchase of the Pittsburgh-based aluminum producer, Alcoa, for over 40 billion. Rising with this tide was fellow mining company, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. ( ). The stock price has risen over 5% this week on sustained higher volume. Audio Podcast: An audio podcast of this article is available at: Merger Talks: The company announced on February 2nd it would be holding a special meeting of stockholders on March 14, 2007 to vote on a proposed acquisition of the Phelps Dodge Corp. (). Back in November, Freeport-McMoRan made public the news of their intention to buy Phelps Dodge for approximately $26 billion in cash and stock. This merger will create the world's largest copper company traded publicly. If approved by shareholders the merger deal is still subject to regulatory approval. Sales growth outpaced the industry by nearly 4% and the company's net profit margin is over 28% while the industry's trails at a respectable 8%. Many also feel the stock, with a current P/E of 8. 50, is undervalued. Competitors: Competitors for FCX include: Newmont Mining Corp. (), Southern Copper Corp. (), and CorporaciÃ³n Nacional del Cobre de Chile (private). Potential Trades: All of the following have 33 days until expiration. Freeport-McMoran is currently trading at $57. 84. These trades were discovered using the powerful suite of option search tools found at .
|Covered Call â€“ Freeport-McMoran Inc. () $ 57. 84 (29)|
|OPTION||Strike Info||Opt Bid||% Dnsd. Prot.||% If Unch.||% If Asgnd|
|FCXCL||07 MAR 60. 00||$1. 85||3. Buy cheap penisole 20%||3. 30%||7. 20%|
|Bull-Call Debit Spread -- Freeport-McMoran Inc. () $ 57. 84 (29)|
|Sell Opt||Strike Info||Bid Price||Buy Option||Strike Info||Ask Price||% Return||Break Even|
|FCXCK||07 MAR $55. 00||$4. 30||FCXCI||07 MAR $45. 00||$13. 20||12. 40%||$53. 90|