Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. (CLF) today announced that its Board of Directors has authorized the Company to buy back its outstanding common shares. 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, including through accelerated share repurchases or pursuant to the terms of a Rule 10b5-1 plan. The Company 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.
Lourenco Goncalves, Cleveland-Cliffs Chairman and CEO, stated, "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."
About Cleveland-Cliffs Inc.
Founded in 1847, Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. is the largest and oldest independent iron ore mining company in the United States. We are a major supplier of iron ore pellets to the North American steel industry from our mines and pellet plants located in Michigan and Minnesota. By 2020, Cliffs expects to be the sole producer of hot briquetted iron (HBI) in the Great Lakes region with the development of its first production plant in Toledo, Ohio. Driven by the core values of safety, social, environmental and capital stewardship, our employees endeavor to provide all stakeholders with operating and financial transparency. For more information, visit http://www.clevelandcliffs.com.
This release contains statements that constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the federal securities laws. As a general matter, forward-looking statements relate to anticipated trends and expectations rather than historical matters. Forward-looking statements are subject to uncertainties and factors relating to Cliffs’ operations and business environment that are difficult to predict and may be beyond our control. Such uncertainties and factors may cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. These statements speak only as of the date of this release, and we undertake no ongoing obligation, other than that imposed by law, to update these statements. Uncertainties and risk factors that could affect Cliffs’ future performance and cause results to differ from the forward-looking statements in this release include, but are not limited to: uncertainty and weaknesses in global economic conditions, including downward pressure on prices caused by oversupply or imported products, reduced market demand and risks related to U.S. government actions with respect to Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act (as amended by the Trade Act of 1974), the North American Free Trade Agreement and/or other trade agreements, treaties or policies; continued volatility of iron ore and steel prices and other trends, including the supply approach of the major iron ore producers, affecting our financial condition, results of operations or future prospects, specifically the impact of price-adjustment factors on our sales contracts; our ability to cost-effectively achieve planned production rates or levels, including at our HBI production plant; our ability to successfully identify and consummate any strategic investments or development projects, including our HBI production plant; the impact of our customers reducing their steel production due to increased market share of steel produced using other methods or lighter-weight steel alternatives; our ability to successfully diversify our product mix and add new customers beyond our traditional blast furnace clientele; our actual economic iron ore reserves or reductions in current mineral estimates, including whether any mineralized material qualifies as a reserve; our ability to maintain appropriate relations with unions and employees; the outcome of any contractual disputes with our customers, joint venture partners or significant energy, material or service providers or any other litigation or arbitration; the ability of our customers and joint venture partners to meet their obligations to us on a timely basis or at all; problems or uncertainties with productivity, tons mined, transportation, mine-closure obligations, environmental liabilities, employee-benefit costs and other risks of the mining industry; our ability to reach agreement with our customers regarding any modifications to sales contract provisions, renewals or new arrangements; our actual levels of capital spending; the timing and amount of purchases of our common shares; our level of indebtedness could limit cash flow available to fund working capital, capital expenditures, acquisitions and other general corporate purposes or ongoing needs of our business; our ability to continue to pay cash dividends, and the amount and timing of any cash dividends; availability of capital and our ability to maintain adequate liquidity; changes in sales volume or mix; events or circumstances that could impair or adversely impact the viability of a mine and the carrying value of associated assets, as well as any resulting impairment charges; impacts of existing and increasing governmental regulation and related costs and liabilities, including failure to receive or maintain required operating and environmental permits, approvals, modifications or other authorization of, or from, any governmental or regulatory entity and costs related to implementing improvements to ensure compliance with regulatory changes; uncertainties associated with natural disasters, weather conditions, unanticipated geological conditions, supply or price of energy, equipment failures and other unexpected events; adverse changes in currency values, currency exchange rates, interest rates and tax laws; and the potential existence of significant deficiencies or material weakness in our internal control over financial reporting.
For additional factors affecting the business of Cliffs, refer to Part I – Item 1A. Risk Factors of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2017. You are urged to carefully consider these risk factors.