Cliffs Natural and Domestic Steel
02/23/2017 9:00 am EST
There is no doubt that our infrastructure is long overdue for some attention, and this, in turn, will require a lot of steel (which, in turn, will require a lot of iron), asserts Nate Pile, editor of Nate's Notes.
And if it’s going to be done, we might as well do it, as much as possible, with the resources we already have right here at home, yes? Based on this view, our latest new recommendation is Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF).
Founded way back in 1847, Cliffs Natural has managed to survive all of the economic ups and downs of the past 170 years and, along the way, has become the largest (and oldest) independent iron ore mining company in the United States!
Cliffs operates three mines in Minnesota and one in Michigan, and based on the output from these mines, the company has become a major supplier of iron ore pellets to the steel manufacturing industry in not just the U.S., but in Mexico and Canada as well.
As part of a restructuring and refocusing strategy announced in 2014, Cliffs has sold off its coal mining businesses over the past few years and is now focused primarily on just its iron ore production operations.
And after 5 years of a declining stock price, it appears that its efforts are starting to win praise from investors on Wall Street. The stock fell from $70 to $1.70 before the pendulum finally started to swing.
To be sure, the stock is now up over 500% from where it was trading a year ago and so many of you might be worried that “it’s too late!”
I would point out that the more undervalued a stock gets on the downside during “times of fear,” the more upside potential they tend to hold for investors if/when the pessimism finally turns to optimism.
As it stands, Cliffs appears to be making good progress on both the operations front as well as on the financial restructuring front.
With a reminder that, at the end of the day, being invested in a mining company carries with it all the risk and volatility associated with being involved in the highly competitive global commodities markets.
However, I believe Cliffs is in a great position to benefit from what will hopefully the starting of a long overdue run of spending on national infrastructure..and, consequently, CLF is considered a strong buy under $10 and a buy under $13.