NEW YORK, NY / ACCESSWIRE / April 23, 2018 / Iron-ore producer Cleveland-Cliffs was a big gainer in Friday trading after beating expectations in its first quarter report. Shares of Vale saw a modest loss but had no particular news. The nickel producer posted its own fourth quarter results back in February that also beat expectations.
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Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. was one of the most active stocks trading on the NYSE on Friday and closed the day with gains of 7.37%. Trading volume at a little over 32 million shares was significant compared to an average of just under 14 million shares. The big gains came after the iron-ore producer reported its first quarter results. The producer of iron ore pellets in North America reported an adjusted loss of 8 cents a share which was a lot better than the 21 cent loss per share that analysts had expected. Consolidated revenue for the first quarter at $239 million was also higher than the $197.1 million that analysts expected. Despite the beat on both the top and bottom line, revenue fell and net losses grew. Wall Street was also impressed as the company decided to cease mining activity in the Asia-Pacific region and instead concentrate on the North American market.
CEO, President, and Chairman, Lourenco Goncalves commented, "The year started very well for our pellet business, with better-than-expected performance for both tonnage shipped and price realization. The Great Lakes ice melting earlier than forecasted has helped our blast furnace clients to start a much needed replenishing of their depleted pellet inventories ahead of their own expectations. To illustrate its strength thus far, we outperformed our EBITDA from last year's first quarter in U.S. Iron Ore, despite only recording about half the sales volumes."
He continued, "We look forward to the U.S. being the singular focus of our results for this year, as Asia Pacific is expected to be treated as a discontinued operation upon its closure. As such, all results of Asia Pacific, including those recorded this quarter, should be excluded from our continuing operations by the time we report next quarter."
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Vale S.A. shares closed down a modest 0.85% on Friday with nearly 16 million shares traded. It was roughly two months ago that the world's top nickel producer reported fourth quarter 2017 results. For the quarter, Vale reported adjusted earnings of 36 cents a share which easily sailed by the 23 cents that analysts had been expecting. It was however a decline next to the 52 cents a share that the company posted in the year ago quarter. For full year fiscal 2017 the company posted adjusted earnings per share of $1.35, beating the $1.22 that Wall Street was anticipating. It was also higher than the 96 cents the company posted a year ago. It was also about two months ago that the company announced it plans to reduce the costs in all of its nickel operations by 10% this year. According to the company this move would imply savings of over $150 million.
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