Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. CLF slipped to a first-quarter 2023 loss of 11 cents per share from the year-ago quarter's earnings of $1.54. The loss per was narrower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 21 cents.
The company’s net sales in the first quarter were $5,295 million, which decreased 11% from $5,955 million reported in the prior-year quarter, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $5,203 million. Its performance in the quarter was aided by the demand recovery in automotive markets. The company was also able to reduce its steelmaking unit costs in the quarter.
Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. Quote
Cleveland-Cliffs reported steelmaking revenues of $5,126 million in the first quarter, down 11.5% year over year. Average net selling price per net ton of steel products was $1,128 in the quarter, declining 22%. External sales volumes for steel products were roughly 4,085 million net tons, up 12.3% year over year.
Cleveland-Cliffs ended the first quarter with cash and cash equivalents of $59 million, up 68.6% year over year. Long-term debt fell 9.3% to $4,559 million at the end of the first quarter. Net cash used in operating activities was $39 million in the reported quarter.
CLF expects that throughout 2023, it should benefit from higher sales volumes to the automotive sector. Also, it is likely to gain from the increased prices the company achieves in its yearly renegotiations with each of the car manufacturers that have Cleveland-Cliffs as their biggest supplier of automotive steel.
It has reduced its full-year 2023 capital expenditures expectation to $675-$725 million from its previous expectation of $700-$750 million.
Shares of CLF are down 39% over the past year compared with a 15.5% decline of its industry.
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Zacks Rank & Other Key Picks
CLF currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
Some other top-ranked stocks in the Basic Materials space are Steel Dynamics, Inc. STLD, Linde plc LIN and PPG Industries, Inc. PPG
Steel Dynamics currently carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Shares of STLD have gained 22.1% in the past year. It topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate in all the last four quarters. It delivered a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 10.7% on average. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Linde, currently carrying a Zacks Rank #2, has a projected earnings growth rate of 9.1% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for LIN’s current-year earnings has been revised 0.97% upward in the past 60 days. It has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 5.9%, on average. The stock has gained 17.2% over the past year.
PPG Industries currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 and has a projected earnings growth rate of 18.4% for the current year. Shares of PPG have gained 10.5% in the past year. It delivered a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 6.8% on average.
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