The copper industry is comprised of companies involved in the exploration, extraction, development, and production of copper, one of the most widely used metals. Copper demand is closely tied to economic cycles as it's used for a broad range of applications, including construction, electronics, industrial machinery, transportation, power generation, and transmission. The largest names in the sector include Freeport-McMoRan Inc. (FCX), Australia-based OZ Minerals Ltd. (OZL), and China-based Zijin Mining Group Co. Ltd. (2899.HK).

Copper stocks, represented by the Global X Copper Miners ETF (COPX), have outperformed the broader market by a wide margin. COPX has provided a total return of 132.7% over the past 12 months, nearly four times the Russell 1000's total return of 34.7%. These market performance figures and all statistics in the tables below are as of June 7, 2021.

Here are the top 3 copper stocks with the best value, the fastest earnings growth, and the most momentum. 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
Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. (TRQ.TO) CA$20.60 CA$4.1 5.2
Copper Mountain Mining Corp. (CMMC.TO) CA$4.06 CA$0.8 7.8
Capstone Mining Corp. (CS.TO) CA$5.15 CA$2.1 12.2

Source: YCharts

  • Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd.: Turquoise Hill Resources is a Canada-based mining company engaged in the exploration and development of mineral and metal properties in Asia and Australia. Its principal property is the Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine in southern Mongolia. The company announced in May financial results for Q1 of its 2021 fiscal year (FY), which ended March 31, 2021. Net income attributable to the company's owners (which excludes net income from non-controlling interests) rose 423.9% on robust revenue growth.
  • Copper Mountain Mining Corp.: Copper Mountain Mining is a Canada-based developer of mineral properties focused on copper mining. The company's flagship Copper Mountain mine is located in southern British Columbia. The company announced in late April financial results for Q1 FY 2021, which ended March 31, 2021. The company posted net income of CA$52.1 million ($43.0 million), a significant turnaround from the net loss of CA$43.5 million ($35.9 million) reported in the year-ago quarter. Revenue rose 227.3%. Copper Mountain Mining said that there have been no material interruptions to its operations, logistics, and supply chains to date related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Capstone Mining Corp.: Capstone Mining engages in the exploration, development, and production of a range of different minerals, including copper, gold, silver, zinc, iron, and lead. The company has operations in the U.S., Mexico, and Chile. Capstone Mining announced in late April financial results for Q1 FY 2021, which ended March 31, 2021. Fueled by higher copper prices, the company posted net income of $127.0 million on strong revenue growth, a significant turnaround from the net loss of $21.9 million reported in the year-ago quarter.

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 (%)
Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. (TRQ.TO) CA$20.60 CA$4.1 406.0 280.2
Copper Mountain Mining Corp. (CMMC.TO) CA$4.06 CA$0.8 N/A (see company description) 227.3
Capstone Mining Corp. (CS.TO) CA$5.15 CA$2.1 N/A (see company description) 173.6

Source: YCharts

  • Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd.: See above for company description.
  • Copper Mountain Mining Corp.: See above for company description (Because net income changed from negative in the year-ago quarter to positive in the most recent quarter, we cannot calculate an EPS growth figure for the table above).
  • Capstone Mining Corp.: See above for company description (Because net income changed from negative in the year-ago quarter to positive in the most recent quarter, we cannot calculate an EPS growth figure for the table above).

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 ($) Market Cap ($M) 12-Month Trailing Total Return (%)
Copper Mountain Mining Corp. (CMMC.TO) CA$4.06 CA$0.8 651.9
Capstone Mining Corp. (CS.TO) CA$5.15 CA$2.1 605.5
Freeport-McMoRan Inc. (FCX) 41.26 60.5 280.7
Russell 1000 N/A N/A 34.7
Global X Copper Miners ETF (COPX) N/A N/A 132.7

Source: YCharts

  • Copper Mountain Mining Corp.: See above for company description.
  • Capstone Mining Corp.: See above for company description.
  • Freeport-McMoRan Inc.: Freeport-McMoRan is a leading international mining company with significant reserves of copper, gold, and molybdenum. The company has operations in North and South America as well as in Indonesia. Freeport-McMoRan announced in late April financial results for Q1 FY 2021, which ended March 31, 2021. The company posted net income of $718 million, a significant turnaround from the net loss of $491 million reported in the year-ago quarter. Revenue rose 73.3%.

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