Dallas, Texas 10/31/2013 (Financialstrend) – The S&P 500 index tracked $3.85 billion market capped Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. (NYSE:CLF) has been on the move at the browsers over the past few days. Post its strong 3Q announcements last week; the company has attracted positive recommendations from the analyst firms. It has reported earnings per share of $0.68 and managed to bring in revenue of $1.55 billion. The earnings per share was $0.03 lesser than what analysts had forecasted and revenue was well over the analyst estimate of $1.48 billion. Post the earnings call the stock posted 2.4% upgrade in its market value. The revenue increase compared to near stagnant sales in comparison to its previous quarter is a clear indication of the improvement in its operational efficiencies. These efficiencies were achieved via execution of extensive cost cutting measures. The fact that price of iron ore also increased by close to 17% during the 3Q (specifically in the Asia pacific region) was a added plus for the increase in income. The cost incurred by the firm for manufacturing ore to saw a significant 4% decrease compared to 3Q12.
In its forecast for the 4Q, the company has voiced hope demand for ore from its Chinese customers would continue to grow as steel making is making a slight recovery in that Asian country. It also indicated a rise in demand for iron ore in the North American markets.
On the back of such bullish sentiments for the next quarter operations, it is no surprise that ratings agency have reiterated their positive outlook for the firm. Rating agency Cowen had posted a upgrade on the stock from Under perform to market perform on October 17 in the run up to the 3Q results announcements. This got reiterated again on October 28, when the rating agency upped its target price for the stock to a$24 from earlier $20.