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Cliffs Natural Resources Inc Falls 16% On Nomura Downgrade

Kevin Riley

Shares of Cliffs Natural Resources Inc (NYSE: CLF) were pummeled Friday after a downgrade from Nomura. The firm changed Cliffs' rating from Buy to Reduce and revised the price target from $18 to $5.

Analyst Curt Woodworth made the changes based on "sharply reduced NAV following a significant downward revision to our ore deck. The ~$55/tonne decline in iron ore prices in 2014 has significant negative implications for medium-term earnings and should severely limit strategic options with regards to potential asset sales."

Woordworth’s report continued by expressing the belief that the "CLF USIO segment should see significant ASP compression over the next two years owing to contract shifts at Algoma and the impact of indexed tonnage which accounts for ~65% of total volumes."

Due to weak iron ore prices and Cliffs' high debt leverage, Woodworth did not believe that CLF could finance the $1 billion it needs for expanding its Eastern Canada mines.

The Nomura report revised the projection for FY 2014 EPS from $0.16 to -$0.03.

Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. closed Friday at $8.32, down 16.8 percent.

Latest Ratings for CLF

Date Firm Action From To
Oct 2014 Nomura Downgrades Buy
Jul 2014 Bernstein Upgrades Underperform Market Perform
Jul 2014 Clarkson Capital Downgrades Market Perform Underperform

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