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Why Cliffs Natural Resources, Inc.'s Shares Popped

By Travis Hoium – Jan 28, 2014 at 2:21PM

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Is this meaningful or just another movement?

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of miner Cliffs Natural Resources, Inc. (CLF -3.50%) jumped as much as 13% today after an activist investor bought a stake.

So what: Casablanca Capital announced it has taken a 5.2% stake in the company and called for change across the board. In a letter to management, Casablanca said it wants to spin off Bloom Lake and other international assets, convert U.S. assets into an MLP, and a number of cost-cutting measures and divestitures as well.  

Now what: Cliffs Natural has swung back to a profit recently and it's probably true that management could do more to save money and unlock value. But I'll also point out that the MLP spinoff is a very popular and predictable thing for a hedge fund to ask for right now with questionable value-add for shareholders. I don't think this alone is a reason to buy Cliffs and the assumption that shares could be worth $53 assumes that the separate parts are worth more than the whole, which may or may not be true.

Travis Hoium has no position in any stocks mentioned, and neither does The Motley Fool. 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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