The copper industry is comprised of companies involved in the exploration, extraction, development, and production of copper, one of the most widely used metals today. Copper is used for a broad range of applications in electronics, construction, power generation, and transmission. Some of the big names in the sector include China-based Zijin Mining Group Co. Ltd., Freeport-McMoRan Inc. (FCX), and U.K.-based KAZ Minerals Plc. Copper stocks, as represented by the Global X Copper Miners ETF (COPX), have dramatically underperformed the broader market in the last 12 months, with total returns of -15.6% as compared to the S&P 500's return of 6.5%. Copper prices fell drastically through the first half of the year in conjunction with the COVID-19 pandemic, and they have only recouped part of their losses. For this reason, there are fewer copper stocks in some of the lists below.

Here are the top copper stocks with the best value, the fastest earnings growth, and the most momentum, respectively. All figures in this story are as of June 15, 2020.

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
Southern Copper Corp. (SCCO) 37.02 28.6 21.8
Ero Copper Corp. (ERO.TO) CA$17.04 CA$1.5 58.1

Source: YCharts

  • Southern Copper Corp.: Southern Copper is engaged in the exploration, development, and production of copper. In the process, the company also produces several by-products including molybdenum, silver, zinc, sulfuric acid and other metals. Southern Copper saw its Q1 2020 net income plunge by 44.7% even as copper sales climbed by 10.6% YOY. Most of the company's employees in Mexico and Peru were forced to work from home through the COVID-19 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 copper stocks with the highest year-over-year EPS growth for the most recent quarter. Only two companies on our screen were able to report a profit in the latest quarter, although they declined dramatically year-over-year due to plunging oil prices.

Fastest Growing Copper Stocks
  Price ($) Market Cap ($B) EPS Growth (%)
Southern Copper Corp. (SCCO) 37.02 28.6 -44.0
Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. (TRQ.TO) CA$0.91 CA$1.8 -49.6

Source: YCharts

  • Southern Copper Corp.: See company description above.
  • Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd.: Turquoise Hill Resources is a Canada-based mining company engaged in the exploration and development of mineral and metal properties. The company conducts copper and gold mining operations at the Oyu Tolgoi mine in southern Mongolia.

Copper Stocks with the Most Momentum

These are the copper stocks that had the highest total returns in the last 12 months. Notably, the three stocks on this list posted positive returns despite falling copper prices, even though most copper stocks reported huge declines.

Copper Stocks with the Most Momentum
  Price ($) Market Cap ($B) 12-Month Trailing Price Change (%)
Capstone Mining Corp. (CS.TO) CA$0.76 CA$0.3 31.0
Southern Copper Corp. (SCCO) 37.02 28.6 4.5
Lundin Mining Corp. (LUN.TO) CA$6.56 CA$4.8 2.2
S&P 500 N/A N/A 6.5
Global X Copper Miners ETF (COPX) N/A N/A -15.6

Source: YCharts

  • Capstone Mining Corp.: Capstone Mining is a Canadian firm involved in mining-related activities of minerals including copper, zinc, gold, silver, and iron. Capstone has projects in Chile, Mexico, and Canada. The company reported a net loss of $21.9 million for Q1 2020, down from net income of $8.3 million in Q1 2019.
  • Southern Copper Corp.: See above for company description.
  • Lundin Mining Corp.: Lundin Mining is a Canada-based diversified company engaged in the exploration, development, and mining of mineral properties, producing primarily copper, zinc, gold, and nickel. On April 29, the company announced a dividend of CA$0.04 per share, to be paid on June 17.