The more thumbs down I get, the more I know the information is getting under the skin of the resident shorts on this board.
Pay close attention to Iron Ore of Canada's Q1 numbers, they operate in the same cold weather environment as CLF and uses the same modes of transportation. The only exception is that Iron Ore of Canada does not stockpile ore ahead of the winter season like CLF does.
"-- “The overall impression is that the euro-zone manufacturing sector is currently on a modest recovery path,” said Howard Archer, chief European economist in London for IHS Global Insight. “It looks likely that industrial production saw reasonable, if unspectacular, growth across the euro zone in the first quarter and made a positive contribution” to growth."
Growth in Europe means steel demand from China.
"U.S. car giant General Motors Corp (GM) (GM) plans to invest $12 billion in China from 2014 to 2017 and build more plants next year as it competes with aggressive rivals in the world's largest auto market.
GM to battle VW in China with $12 bln investment and new plants Reuters
GM aims to boost Cadillac sales in China by 2015 Reuters
VW to keep adding Chinese capacity amid double-digit growth Reuters
VW has agreed budget car concept, design: manager Reuters
Toyota to launch China-made Corolla, Levin hybrids in 2015 Reuters
GM expects its China sales to expand 8-10 percent this year, in line with the overall growth of the Chinese market, where foreign firms, such as Volkswagen AG (VOW3.DE), and domestic players like SAIC Motor Corp vie for more market"
Autos and manufacturing plants all point to higher steel demand.
Actual iron ore production out of Canada, near CLF's mines. Actual steel production, US durable goods, US industrial production and Chinese stabilization. Can you provide me any market results that would indicate CLF will lose 11 cents in Q1 other than some half baked analyst says so. It is not that hard to do a little research, took me less than an hour.
"Why to expect some stabilization? Annette Beacher, head of Asia-Pacific research at TD Securities in Singapore, says the correlation between manufacturing in China and the price of iron ore is very strong. Recent gains in the metal’s price reflect improving demand as China factories steady. “While ‘correlation may not be causation,’ we believe it is worth keeping an eye on,” Beacher said in a report. “After falling another 8 percent in March to an average of just under $112/t (dry ton), the April iron ore price average so far is up 5 percent to just over $117/t.”"
Strong US numbers coming out of Q1 will have a stabilizing effect on China manufacturing. Look at the increases in Chinese auto sales.
"Bookings for U.S. durable goods, those made to last at least three years, climbed 2 percent last month following a 2.2 percent gain in February, according to the median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg. Orders for non-military capital equipment excluding airplanes, which are considered a proxy on the outlook for business investment in such things as computers and machinery, increased 1 percent, the most since November, the survey showed."
Cold weather, hot for durable goods.
"Orders (CGNOXAI%) for American-made capital equipment such as computers and machinery probably climbed in March by the most in four months, economist forecast an April 24 report will show"
Finally, you can't have orders for capital equipment climb by the most in 4 months without some increase in steel which requires increases in iron ore. Since there is no indication that steel mills shut down because of a lack of iron ore, the supply must be moving in spite of the cold weather.
"AK Steel expects shipments of approximately 1,250,000 to 1,275,000 tons in the first quarter of 2014, an approximate 10% to 12% decrease from 1,420,000 tons in the fourth quarter of 2013. The reduction in shipments for the first quarter is attributable principally to the effects of the unplanned outage at the company’s Ashland Works blast furnace (described below) resulting in a decline in shipments of carbon steel to the spot market and a decline in shipments of electrical steel, partially offset by higher automotive shipments."
Steel production in line with Iron Ore of Canada with a 10 to 12 percent reduction from 2013 Q4 (most of which was caused by a furnace outage).
With iron ore production numbers from a Canadian player and actual steel production from a major US steel company gives you a good number to work with, about 20% decrease from 2013 Q4.
From Castanet April 16, 2014:
"The global mining giant said Tuesday that its share of IOC production was 1.8 million tonnes, down 12 per cent from the prior year and 24 per cent from 2.3 million tonnes produced in the fourth quarter.
Pellet sales were 14 per cent higher than the prior year while concentrate sales fell 33 per cent as a result of the unusually cold weather. Rio owns 57.8 per cent of IOC."
This gives you an idea of the impact of the cold weather where iron ore was down 12 percent and pellet sales were up 14 percent from the same quarter last year. And down 24 percent from fourth quarter.
Think about it, if CLF is down 25% from fourth quarter, they would be earning around 85 cents a share and if their pellet sales were 14 percent higher than 2013 Q1, they would be earning about 85 cents. Now I understand spot iron ore prices is about 10 percent lower, so that would have them earning about 76 cents.
Instead of dwelling on analyst estimates where they have other motives for throwing out a 50 cent loss, try doing your own research. Take a look at Littlewood's prior quarter estimates and then you can see the trend.
Doesn't anyone understand the impact of 1.7 billion people, that is 5 times more than the US. China is moving towards developed status, Vale is right.
I had to revise my estimates to 44 cents as the diluted shares were more than I had built in, but I am still optimistic that they will hit 50 cents.
That is one that I totally see the advantage. Freight cost is the great equalizer with iron ore at $110 or less and if Vale wants to supply the US market, they need CLF and their distribution network. Vale should just say screw the Chinese market and concentrate on N and S America, Europe and India into the future.
I agree with you, CLF would be worse off if they are broken up. But surviving an activist attack is not as simple as running the business as you see fit. Management must take on the short interest to return some value to the shareholders in order to get the vote. Sitting on their hands is not going to cut it, they need to take action now or we will end up with a Casablanca run company.
I disagree with you regarding the stock purchase. More than anything, management needs the votes and why not offset Casablanca's shares with shares CLF can purchase and vote in favor of the current board. After they retain control of the company, management could sell those share back into the open market.
Good earnings will not do it, they need to address the short interest by:
1. A large stock buyback that would get them much needed votes and cause shorts to cover as the stock price increases with demand for shares.
2. A large dividend increase that would force shorts to pay if they want to continue to hold their position.
Guess we will see Thursday if they want to keep their jobs or not. The ball is in their court. This is not as simple as just running an iron ore business and I hope JPM has outlined these options as well.
"Extract Value through Immediate Divestiture of Asia Pacific. Since Casablanca publicly announced its position in Cliffs, we have received a number of unsolicited expressions of interest in the Asia Pacific assets. Accordingly, we believe these assets should command an attractive valuation if sold—an alternative transaction to a spin-off that achieves most of the same objectives and dovetails with Cliffs’ announcement to suspend the Bloom Lake expansion. Proceeds from the sale of Asia Pacific could finance remaining obligations at Bloom Lake, debt reduction and return of capital to shareholders. Given the remaining life of these assets, we believe Cliffs must act immediately to capture this strategic value. While we previously proposed a spin-off of the international assets, a separation between Cliffs’ core business and the international businesses, by any mechanism, was and continues to be our ultimate objective."
This alternative to spinning off international assets came to light with the interest in buying the Australian operations. If they build off of that, Casablanca stands to win over many of the institutional holders that believe these assets are core to CLF's future growth and diversification from iron ore and coal.
The really smart ones are the likes of Musk, take the time to study how he handled the short position in his stock an raised it from $30 to $200. Or better yet Adleson with LVS, he took a the company from the short sellers that drove it down to $3 and near bankruptcy to over $80 a share. It is company management that have it in their hands to drive the shorts out.