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When the global recession sent the price of copper and molybdenum into a tailspin that would quickly translate into cutting revenue in half for Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold, the company went into action. It implemented a broad-based plan that included lowering operating costs by 18% by idling facilities, reducing its U.S. workforce by one-third, and suspending its common stock dividend. The goal was to take the pain upfront, hang onto much of its $1.2 billion in cash, and protect the company’s prospects in the recovery.

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