Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold says fourth-quarter results improved due to higher copper prices and and better conditions in some key markets.
The Phoenix company says copper prices more than doubled from a year earlier. China's appetite for the metal grew as government stimulus spending boosted construction and sales of cars, although analysts are still looking for improvement in U.S. housing, another key market.
Freeport-McMoRan's profit rose to $971 million, or $2.15 per share, a significant turnaround from a nearly $14 billion loss in the last quarter of 2008, when copper prices plunged.
Revenue rose to $4.61 billion from $2.07 billion.
Analysts were expecting a profit of $1.72 a share on revenue of about $4.1 billion.
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