Rough Winter Wrecks Cliffs Natural Resources Inc's First-Quarter Results

One of the worst winters in 30 years causes iron ore sales volume to slip for Cliffs Natural Resources.

Apr 24, 2014 at 5:13PM

Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE:CLF) announced its first-quarter results after the closing bell today. The company reported revenue of $940 million and a net loss of $83 million or $0.54 per share.

Revenue was down 18% over the previous year as a significant decrease in the market price for iron ore and metallurgical coal affected results. In addition to that, Cliffs Natural Resources reported that global iron ore sales volumes fell 2% as winter weather affected results. According to a quote from CEO Gary Halverson in the company's press release, "the first-quarter's winter weather in North America was some of the worst conditions we have experienced in 30 years."

Despite these negatives Cliffs Natural Resources did have some positives to report in the quarter. The company delivered record first-quarter production of 1.5 million tons at Bloom Lake, in spite of the rough winter weather. In addition to that the company has improved its liquidity by 32% over the past year to $1.9 billion, this is despite the weakness in both the iron ore and metallurgical coal markets.

Further, Cliffs Natural Resources is maintaining its full-year volume and cost outlook. The company sees the first-quarter weather impacts on volume being something that will be recovered later on in the year. This is because the company sees demand strengthening as an improving U.S. economy will yield healthy demand for iron ore. Continued economic expansion in China should also result in increased Chinese steel production, which will result in more steelmaking raw materials being imported into the country. 

Matt DiLallo has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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