Cleveland-Cliffs CEO reveals an advantage CLF has over its competitors

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on Apr 22, 2022
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  • Cleveland-Cliffs Inc reports better-than-expected results for its fiscal Q1.
  • CEO says CLF is insulated from fluctuations in spot prices and Ukraine war.
  • Shares of American steel maker opened roughly 10% up on Friday morning.

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Cleveland-Cliffs Inc (NYSE: CLF) opened 10% up on Friday after the steel maker reported its financial results for the first quarter that handily topped Wall Street expectations.

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What Cleveland-Cliffs Q1 earnings report tells us

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  • Net income came in at $801 million that translates to $1.50 per share.
  • In the same quarter last year, net income was capped at $41 million (7 cents a share).
  • On an adjusted basis, per-share earnings stood at $1.71 in the first quarter.
  • Sales jumped 50% YoY to $6.0 billion, as per the earnings press release.
  • FactSet consensus was for $1.46 of EPS on $5.4 billion in sales.

The Ohio-headquartered company noted $111 million of non-recurring, non-cash charges in Q1. Explaining how Cleveland-Cliffs remained resilient despite a slide in spot prices for steel, CEO Lourenco Goncalves said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box”:

Our business model is differentiated. We’re the largest supplier of steel to the U.S. automotive sector. We have fixed price contracts with several clients. We’re renegotiating our contracts at favourable terms. So, we won’t be exposed to fluctuations of the spot price.

Cleveland-Cliffs Inc guidance for fiscal 2022

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For fiscal 2022, Cleveland-Cliffs raised its expectations for average selling price to $1,445 per net ton versus $1,225 it forecast earlier. Consequently, it hopes to generate record free cash flow this year.

According to the chief executive, Cleveland-Cliffs is also immune to the ongoing geopolitical tensions in Eastern Europe. He added:

Our competition relies on pig iron imported particularly from Russia and Ukraine. We produce all of our pig iron in the United States. So, we are self-sufficient. That will make a change in a world that’s changing fast from a peaceful world to a world at war.

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