Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. CLF stated that it will resume the construction of its Hot-Briquetted Iron (HBI) plant in Toledo, OH and fast-track the restart of its Tilden mining operations in Michigan.
The Toledo HBI facility’s construction was temporarily stopped on Mar 20, due to the coronavirus pandemic. The company has now started the process of remobilizing workforce for completing the project. However, the current mandatory social distancing and other newly-employed safety measures are restricting the number of workers allowed to be present simultaneously. As such, the company now expects the construction to get completed in fourth-quarter 2020.
The Tilden mine, which mainly supplies Cleveland-Cliffs’ own AK Steel facilities, was idled in mid-April. Cleveland-Cliffs intends to restart Tilden later this month, earlier than expected. The company stated that the move is in response to a faster improvement in steel demand from AK Steel’s clients than initially anticipated, mainly in the automotive sector.
The company also noted that demand for its steel, iron ore and metallics products recovered considerably in the past month, which enables it to restart the Toledo and Tilden facilities sooner than the company originally expected.
Cleveland-Cliffs also restarted several other idled facilities, including Precision Partners, AK Tube, Mansfield Works and the Dearborn downstream facilities.
Cleveland-Cliffs’ shares have lost 28.8% in the past year compared with the industry’s 1.1% decline.
Zacks Rank & Key Picks
Cleveland-Cliffs currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Some better-ranked stocks in the basic materials space are The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company SMG, Royal Gold, Inc. RGLD and Franco-Nevada Corporation FNV, all carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 (Strong Buy) Rank stocks here.
Scotts Miracle-Gro has an expected earnings growth rate of 21.5% for fiscal 2020. The company’s shares have surged 51.2% in the past year.
Royal Gold has an expected earnings growth rate of 66.2% for fiscal 2020. Its shares have returned 32.5% in the past year.
Franco-Nevada has an expected earnings growth rate of 19.2% for 2020. The company’s shares have surged 67.3% in the past year.
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