Commodities & Metals

What Cleveland-Cliffs Has Planned After a Rocky Quarter

Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. (NYSE: CLF) shares were up handily early on Monday after the company announced that it will be initiating a new share repurchase plan. Now seems to be the opportune time to buy, as the stock has dropped off about 30% since September.

Under the share repurchase program, the company will have ample flexibility to buy up to a maximum of $200 million worth of shares, via acquisitions in the open market or privately negotiated transactions.

The company did note in the release that it is not obligated to make any purchases and the program may be suspended or discontinued at any time. The authorization is active until December 31, 2019.

Excluding Monday’s move, Cleveland-Cliffs has outperformed the broad markets, with its stock up about 38% in the past 52 weeks. However, in the past month the stock is actually down 14%.

Also worth pointing out is that the Dow Jones is down 6% and the S&P 500 is down 8% in the past quarter.

Lourenco Goncalves, Cleveland-Cliffs board chair and chief executive, commented:

The disconnect between our strong profitability and the current volatility in the capital markets has created a highly accretive use of capital by buying back our own common shares. Similar to what we did a few years ago with our debt repurchases at deep discounts, we will not fight the tape; but we will definitely take advantage of this unique opportunity the market has given to us.

Shares of Cleveland-Cliffs were last seen up less than 1% at $8.96, with a consensus analyst price target of $13.39. The stock has a 52-week trading range of $5.96 to $13.10.