Citigroup Downgrades Cliffs Natural Resources to Neutral on Iron Ore Pricing Weakness
David Johnson, Benzinga Staff Writer
February 13, 2013 8:02 AM
Citigroup downgraded Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE: CLF [FREE Stock Trend Analysis]) from Buy to Hold and lowered the price target from $48.00 to $38.00.
Citigroup commented, "We are downgrading CLF to Neutral from Buy following disappointing iron ore pricing guidance across the various regions and cost guidance for Canada. This was compounded by the dividend cut and proposed equity raise. We are cutting our 2013 estimate to $1.14 from $4.00 based on an unchanged benchmark iron ore price forecast of $120/tonne, lowering our target price to $36. Our 2014 estimate drops to $2.40 from $5.30 based on $122/tonne iron ore. The primary driver of the lowered earnings outlook was lower than expected realized pricing from APIO and ECIO, as indicated by company guidance."
Cliffs Natural Resources closed at $36.61 on Tuesday.