Top Copper Stocks

TRQ, FM.TO, and SCCO have outperformed their peers and the Russell 1000 Index

Top copper stocks include Turquoise Hill Resources, First Quantum Minerals, and Southern Copper, which have risen as much as 111% in the past year as copper prices soared to a record earlier in the year amid high demand. Copper stocks as a group, represented by the benchmark Global X Copper Miners ETF (COPX), gained 2% as the Russell 1000 Index fell 16% in the last year.

Though copper prices have pulled back from their March highs, the metal has rebounded in the past two months due to tight supplies and forecasts of recovering demand next year.

Here are the copper stocks in three categories: best value, fastest growth, and most momentum. All data are as of Dec. 7, 2022. These are stocks of companies that mine for copper, rather than futures that track the copper commodity.

Best Value Copper Stocks

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
Ero Copper Corp. (ERO.TO) CA$17.65 CA$1.6 7.9
Lundin Mining Corp. (LUNMF) 6.14 4.7 8.8
Capstone Copper Corp. (CSCCF) 3.51 2.4 10.3

Source: YCharts

  • 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. In November, Ero announced a 31% increase in estimated proven and probably mineral reserves for its Caraíba operations, including a 43% increase within the Pilar mine.
  • 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 announced announced on Dec. 6 that Jack Lundin was appointed president, effective immediately. He was most recently CEO of Bluestone Resources Inc.
  • Capstone Copper Corp.: Capstone is a Canadian copper mining company that operates primarily in the U.S., Mexico, and Chile. Capstone's net income increased 7% as revenue nearly doubled during the third quarter. Copper production rose 127%, including volume from its Mantos Blancos and Mantoverde mines.

Fastest Growing Copper Stocks

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 (%)
Capstone Copper Corp. (CSCCF) 3.51 2.4 -37.5 86.6
Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. (TRQ) 31.33 6.3 -17.9 -40.9
Southern Copper Corp. (SCCO) 61.46 47.5 -40.2 -19.6

Source: YCharts

  • Capstone Copper Corp.: See above for company description.
  • Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd.: Turquoise Hill is a Canadian mining company that explores and develops mineral and metal properties in Asia and Australia. Its principal property is the Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine in southern Mongolia. Shareholders on Dec. 9 approved the purchase of 49% of outstanding Turquoise Hill common shares by Rio Tinto International Holdings Ltd.
  • Southern Copper Corp.: Southern operates copper mines and metallurgical facilities in Mexico and Peru, as well as exploration projects in Argentina, Chile, and Ecuador. Net income fell 40% to $519 million as net sales dropped a fifth to $2.2 billion in the latest quarter. Lower prices for by-products such as molybdenum drove these declines.

Copper Stocks With the Most Momentum

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

Copper Stocks with the Most Momentum
  Price ($) Market Cap ($B) 12-Month Trailing Total Return (%)
Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. (TRQ) 31.33 6.3 111.0
First Quantum Minerals Ltd. (FM.TO) CA$32.16 CA$22.3 10.4
Southern Copper Corp. (SCCO) 61.46 47.5 8.5
Russell 1000 N/A N/A -15.6
Global X Copper Miners ETF (COPX) N/A N/A 2.3

Source: YCharts

  • Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd.: See above for company description.
  • First Quantum Minerals Ltd.: First Quantum is a Canadian mining company that explores for and produces copper, nickel, gold, silver, zinc, and acid.operates mines in countries including Turkey, Spain, Finland, and Zambia. It also trades OTC in the U.S. under the ticker FQVLF.
  • Southern Copper Corp.: See above for company description.

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, which can be variable. 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 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 blew up a place sacred to indigenous people in Australia, and the CEO and two other executives were fired.

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  2. Copper Investing News. "Copper Price 2022 Year-End Review."

  3. YCharts. "Financial Data."

  4. CNBC. "Copper prices — traditionally a barometer for the global economy — are expected to soar next year."

  5. Ero Copper Corp. "Ero Copper Announces 31% Increase in Mineral Reserves of the Caraíba Operations and Extension of Mine Life to 20 Years."

  6. Lundin Mining Corp. "Lundin Mining Announces Appointment of Jack Lundin as President."

  7. Capstone Copper Corp. "Capstone Copper Reports Third Quarter 2022 Results."

  8. Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. "Turquoise Hill’s Shareholders Approve Arrangement with Rio Tinto."

  9. Southern Copper Corp. "Results: Third Quarter and Nine Months 2022," Page 1.

  10. YCharts. "Copper Price."

  11. CNN. "Rio Tinto CEO Resigns After Destruction of 46,000-Year-Old Sacred Indigenous Site."

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