Off by 50 years,
“The modern era of direct reduction began on December 5, 1957 when the Hylsa 1M HYL Process plant first started production. Back then, total world steel production amounted to just under 300 illion tons. The electric arc furnace share of the market was barely 8%, or about 24 million tons. And of course none of that involved use of direct reduced iron. At least, not until the last month of that year.” ….more"
Since then the industry has been growing into it, dealing with shipping and storage issues. CLF appears to have solved the issues by bringing a cost effective product to the market.
Due to the limitations on how many shares they can purchase in a day, they need around 35 days at $4 a share to buy back $200 million… better get started soon, 2015 is almost at an end. If they have no intentions to do so, tell us why and move on. Like if they feel purchasing bonds is a better use of the money, just tell us now and we all can stop the speculation. LG just doesn't get it, lack of communications lead to speculation and that is an environment that shorts rule.
Tomorrow they start their 2 day meeting, Thursday they announce their decision on rates.
So on Thursday I am going with holding rates at zero, market goes up 400 points and CLF goes up with commodities on a weaker dollar.
The question I still have is, did Nucor's record production run use those CLF samples which allowed them to speed up the production process?
You sell inventories like CLF does every year ahead of the Lakes freezing over. Those inventories are paid for, when they sell them they get use of all the cash generated by the sale. And pull up their 4Q and you will see they did not sell all the bonds issued, that means they are holding those bonds that they can sell into the market. CLF is a bond holder in their own company and they can dictate where that cash goes to.
You don't have price flexibility with scrap as the majority of the cost is tied up with labor and transportation to get the material to the mills.
With over $300 million in cash, over $400 million in inventories, long term bonds that have not been sold and an untapped credit line, all which gives CLF over $1 billion in cash. Seriously, how can they not pay their bills and still buy back $200 million in stock? Have not even factored in a single asset sale.
The buyers would return if CLF would release some update on all the things they have pending. You had buyers off the successful bond purchase, since then, nothing new has come out and buyers are having doubt about everything that is pending.
India has a domestic supply of iron ore, however they don't have met coal and have been active trying to secure future supplies of met coal. For this reason, CLF would be wise to hold their met coal assets or at least not let them go for a fire sale price.
Labor contracts are always a concern to investors, but this time advantage is in CLF's court. The have built a larger than normal inventory base and low demand has allowed them to shut down some union operations. Because of this advantage to the companies, I think the unions are going to provide some concession, not all of what the companies are asking for, but enough to make a difference in cost.
You have to realize that the labor contracts with US Steel, MT and ATI expired a month before CLF's contract. So these steel companies do the heavy lifting in working out a contract and then CLF will follow. It appears that these steel companies are holding tight with getting concessions with ATI locking out the union and MT walking out of negotiations.
From the Steelworker's publication:
"Negotiations with Cliffs Natural Resources kicked off in Pittsburgh on Thursday, September 10th. During the initial ‘sound off’ meeting, USW negotiators made clear that we’re not willing to let Cliffs use a temporary downturn in the iron ore market as an excuse to erase decades of progress in our contracts.
The union understands the challenges that our industry is facing. We’re committed to working together to fight the onslaught of steel imports and we’re committed to working with Cliffs to find cost-saving solutions, but cutting wages and benefits is not the solution. USW negotiators also emphasized that maintaining quality healthcare for our retirees is a key priority.
Local issue bargaining resumed on Friday and will continue through the weekend. On Monday the parties will meet again to exchange top-table proposals.
Stay strong, stay safe, and let’s continue to show Cliffs that we’re committed to doing whatever it takes to win a fair contract! "
US Steel and MT have been negotiating for a month now and they remain far apart, yet the Union refuses to strike and extends the contact. ATI has locked out the union, but US Steel and MT have not gone that route. If these steel companies get concessions, look for CLF to get the same, so keep an eye on US Steel and MT labor negotiations.
Also, these negotiations kicking off could be the reason we have not heard much out of CLF.
Auto production and demand is driving the auto industry and the UAW is in a good position here. CLF's is currently dealing with the Steelworkers on a new contract. With the fall in iron ore prices, the Steelworkers are not in a good position as MT and US Steel are asking for wage and benefit concessions. Negotiations have been extended for MT and US Steel and things are not going well, from WDIO:
"With the the deadline for new labor contracts already expired, negotiations have broken down between ArcelorMittal and its unions. "
"U.S. Steel and Cliffs Natural Resources also continue to negotiate new labor contracts out in Pittsburgh."
I think given the current economic conditions, these companies have a fair chance to get some labor concessions.
LG cares about running this company and maintaining a healthy profit and reducing debt. Unlike CEOs like Musk, Schultz and others, he is not trying to run the stock price. In the long run he will win and the common stock will go up. In the short run the shorts continue to run unchecked as LG has not kept up with progress statements. Shorts are going to find that when he does release information, they won't have time to cover.
has seen their volume of iron ore reduced to 25% of their normal shipping volume since Wabush and CLF's transportation systems have been shut down. This is the key reason Quebec needs to take this infrastructure public and building the port . The question is how much is this economic development worth to these politicians?
SEC 4 are out and shows all have acquired shares at 0 cost but none have listed a sale of a single share which is kind of strange considering they have to pay a tax withholding on these.
If they were going bankrupt they would have never bought back $124 million in bonds. Just think about it, unsecured bond holders would get nothing so why buy them back? Just like an individual planning for bankruptcy, they run up their credit card to the max, they don't pay them off!