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 66.5% over the past 12 months, well above the 35.7% total return of the iShares Russell 1000 ETF (IWB). These market performance figures and all statistics in the tables below are as of Sept. 9, 2021.

Here are the top 3 copper stocks with the best value, the fastest 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$18.86 CA$3.8 4.7
Copper Mountain Mining Corp. (CMMC.TO) CA$3.07 CA$0.6 5.9
Ero Copper Corp. (ERO.TO) CA$23.74 CA$2.1 8.1

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 late July financial results for Q2 of its 2021 fiscal year (FY), ended June 30, 2021. Net income attributable to shareholders rose 33.5% on revenue growth of 14.3% compared to the year-ago quarter. Turquoise Hill Resources said that it increased revenue during the quarter despite lockdowns and staffing constraints due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • 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 July financial results for Q2 FY 2021, ended June 30, 2021. Net income rose 21.1% on revenue growth of 56.0%. The company said that it achieved record operating cash flow during the quarter. It also said that it has not experienced any material disruptions at its operations, logistics, or supply chains related to the pandemic.
  • Ero Copper Corp.: Ero Copper is a Canada-based mining company that engages in the production and sale of copper, gold, and silver in mining locations primarily in Brazil.

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 (%)
Freeport-McMoRan Inc. (FCX) 34.37 50.5 2,330 88.2
Capstone Mining Corp. (CS.TO) CA$5.21 CA$2.1 963.1 77.1
Ero Copper Corp. (ERO.TO) CA$23.74 CA$2.1 885.6 51.1

Source: YCharts

  • 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 July financial results for Q2 FY 2021, the three-month period ended June 30, 2021. Net income increased more than twentyfold compared to the year-ago quarter as revenue rose 88.2% YOY. Total costs and expenses grew at a much slower pace than revenue, helping to boost net income.
  • Capstone Mining Corp.: Capstone Mining is a Canada-based mining company that 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.
  • Ero Copper Corp.: See above for company description.

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 (%)
Capstone Mining Corp. (CS.TO) CA$5.21 CA$2.1 307.0
Copper Mountain Mining Corp. (CMMC.TO) CA$3.07 CA$0.6 244.9
Freeport-McMoRan Inc. (FCX) 34.37 50.5 119.6
iShares Russell 1000 ETF (IWB) N/A N/A 35.7
Global X Copper Miners ETF (COPX) N/A N/A 66.5

Source: YCharts

  • Capstone Mining Corp.: See above for company description.
  • Copper Mountain Mining Corp.: See above for company description.
  • Freeport-McMoRan Inc.: See above for company description.

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