Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. (NYSE:CLF) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “Cliffs remains focused on de-leveraging its balance sheet and improving its cost structure. It should also gain from recent supply deals and an expected rise in steel demand in the U.S. However, the company remains exposed to a challenging operating environment and pricing headwinds. Iron ore prices are expected to remain under pressure in the second half of 2017 due to rising global supplies. Cliffs has also cut its profit outlook for 2017 due to lower expected iron ore pricing. Moreover, demand for iron ore remains soft in China given a sluggish economy. Cliffs has also underperformed the Zacks categorized Mining-Iron industry over the past six months.”

Other research analysts have also recently issued reports about the stock. Jefferies Group LLC started coverage on shares of Cliffs Natural Resources in a research report on Friday, July 7th. They set a “buy” rating and a $9.00 price target on the stock. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Cliffs Natural Resources from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 6th. FBR & Co set a $10.00 price target on shares of Cliffs Natural Resources and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Saturday, June 17th. ValuEngine cut shares of Cliffs Natural Resources from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, June 2nd. Finally, TheStreet cut shares of Cliffs Natural Resources from a “c” rating to a “d+” rating in a research report on Thursday, May 4th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $8.50.

Shares of Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF) opened at 7.29 on Thursday. Cliffs Natural Resources has a 52-week low of $4.91 and a 52-week high of $12.37. The company’s 50-day moving average is $6.58 and its 200 day moving average is $7.97. The firm has a market capitalization of $2.16 billion, a P/E ratio of 42.63 and a beta of 1.66.

Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE:CLF) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 27th. The mining company reported ($0.11) EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.16 by $0.27. Cliffs Natural Resources had a net margin of 1.68% and a negative return on equity of 5.79%. The business had revenue of $461.60 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $412.71 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.62 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 51.1% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts expect that Cliffs Natural Resources will post $0.87 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In other Cliffs Natural Resources news, Director John T. Baldwin purchased 6,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, May 3rd. The stock was bought at an average price of $6.32 per share, with a total value of $37,920.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now directly owns 87,991 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $556,103.12. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, Chairman Lourenco Goncalves purchased 200,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, May 3rd. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $6.31 per share, with a total value of $1,262,000.00. Following the purchase, the chairman now directly owns 2,855,296 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $18,016,917.76. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have bought 215,250 shares of company stock valued at $1,361,283. Insiders own 0.46% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. IFP Advisors Inc raised its stake in shares of Cliffs Natural Resources by 50.0% in the first quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 35,266 shares of the mining company’s stock worth $290,000 after buying an additional 11,755 shares during the last quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. raised its stake in shares of Cliffs Natural Resources by 784.5% in the first quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 452,176 shares of the mining company’s stock worth $3,713,000 after buying an additional 401,056 shares during the last quarter. Strs Ohio raised its stake in shares of Cliffs Natural Resources by 103.8% in the first quarter. Strs Ohio now owns 15,900 shares of the mining company’s stock worth $130,000 after buying an additional 8,100 shares during the last quarter. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Cliffs Natural Resources during the first quarter worth approximately $476,000. Finally, Acadian Asset Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Cliffs Natural Resources during the first quarter worth approximately $2,460,000. 66.66% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Cliffs Natural Resources Company Profile

Cliffs Natural Resources Inc is a mining and natural resources company. The Company is a supplier of iron ore pellets to the North American steel industry from its mines and pellet plants located in Michigan and Minnesota. The Company’s segments include U.S. Iron Ore and Asia Pacific Iron Ore. The Company is a producer of iron ore pellets, primarily selling production from U.S.

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Analyst Recommendations for Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE:CLF)

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