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Industry Snapshot: Metals and Mining
Monday, September 25, 2017

Another month, another glimpse into the fascinating world of corporate industry! This month we spotlight 348 companies in our Metals and Mining industry report.

The metals and mining sector has not been loving life in the last few years. Total revenue for the sector is down (gulp) 76 percent in recent years— from more than $120 billion in 2011 to barely $30 billion in 2016. Revenues were down 6 percent from 2015 to 2016 alone.

Not surprisingly, most other key metrics in the sector have gone nowhere but down, too. Consider…

  • Net income, down from more than $30 billion in 2011 to a net loss of more than $10 billion in 2015, although that loss narrowed last year.
  • Total operating expenses down by 41 percent, although average operating expenses are actually up 64 percent. (Thanks largely due to Freeport MacMoRan, the largest player in the sector, pulling down the totals with its massive cuts.)
  • Total cash down 49 percent across the whole six-year period, although cash jumped 95 percent 2015 to 2016.
  • R&D expenses down 94 percent over the six years, including a 45 percent cut from 2015 to 2016.

Across the grand sweep of the economy, none of these metrics are surprising. The mining sector is prone to booms and busts, and busts in coal and iron ore have been a slow-motion disaster since 2012. That’s mostly due to China’s economy, long as hot as the sun, cooling off in recent years. Demand for coal, iron ore, and other materials has since sputtered. Other struggling economies around the world, including our own in the early 2010s, did not help.

Analysts who cover the sector can read our full Metals and Mining Sector report, plus many more, all posted on the Calcbench Research page. Upon request, we can also help subscribers with their own bespoke reports that track other criteria.

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