Cliffs Natural Resources Rating Lowered to Underweight at Morgan Stanley (CLF)

Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE: CLF) was downgraded by analysts at Morgan Stanley from an “equal weight” rating to an “underweight” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Wednesday, reports. They currently have a $14.00 price target on the stock, down from their previous price target of $36.00.

The analysts wrote, “Despite the recent selloff in CLF shares, we are downgrading the stock to Underweight and cutting our price target to $14. We believe Cliffs’ key US iron ore business (~60% of 2012 EBITDA) will be halved in coming years as new Great Lakes supply cuts into volumes and pricing. CLF stock has dropped ~44% YTD on deteriorating operational outlook (especially for Bloom Lake) and a surprise dividend cut and equity/convertible preferred raise.”

Several other analysts have also recently commented on the stock. Analysts at Goldman Sachs upgraded shares of Cliffs Natural Resources from a “sell” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note to investors on Wednesday. They now have a $20.00 price target on the stock. Finally, analysts at TheStreet reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Cliffs Natural Resources in a research note to investors on Monday, March 18th.

Five analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have issued a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Cliffs Natural Resources presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $29.61.

Shares of Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE: CLF) traded down 12.37% during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $18.78. Cliffs Natural Resources has a one year low of $20.06 and a one year high of $71.60. The stock’s 50-day moving average is currently $26.55. The company’s market cap is $2.676 billion.

Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE: CLF) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, February 12th. The company reported $0.62 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters consensus estimate of $0.55 by $0.07. The company had revenue of $1.54 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.53 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.30 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 4.2% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts expect that Cliffs Natural Resources will post $1.72 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. is an international mining and natural resources company. The Company is an iron ore producer and a producer of metallurgical coal.

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