Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. (NYSE:CLF) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report released on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “Earnings estimate for Cliffs for the current quarter has been going down of late. The company has also underperformed the industry it belongs to over the past one year. Moreover, Cliffs is faced with a challenging operating environment and pricing headwinds. The company has also cut its profit outlook for 2017 due to lower expected iron ore pricing. Demand for iron ore in China also remain soft.”

Several other research firms also recently commented on CLF. BidaskClub raised shares of Cliffs Natural Resources from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Thursday, July 6th. Jefferies Group LLC initiated coverage on shares of Cliffs Natural Resources in a research report on Friday, July 7th. They set a buy rating and a $9.00 target price on the stock. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Cliffs Natural Resources from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research report on Friday, June 2nd. FBR & Co set a $10.00 target price on shares of Cliffs Natural Resources and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Saturday, June 17th. Finally, Cowen and Company reissued a market perform rating and set a $7.00 target price on shares of Cliffs Natural Resources in a research report on Wednesday, June 28th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Cliffs Natural Resources currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $8.50.

Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE:CLF) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The mining company reported $0.26 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.18 by $0.08. The firm had revenue of $569.30 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $485.93 million. Cliffs Natural Resources had a net margin of 2.44% and a negative return on equity of 13.83%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 14.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.07 earnings per share.

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In related news, Chairman Lourenco Goncalves bought 200,000 shares of Cliffs Natural Resources stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, May 3rd. The stock was acquired at an average price of $6.31 per share, for a total transaction of $1,262,000.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the chairman now owns 2,855,296 shares in the company, valued at $18,016,917.76. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director John T. Baldwin bought 6,000 shares of Cliffs Natural Resources stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, May 3rd. The stock was bought at an average price of $6.32 per share, with a total value of $37,920.00. Following the purchase, the director now owns 87,991 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $556,103.12. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders bought 209,750 shares of company stock worth $1,324,708. 0.46% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Old Mutual Global Investors UK Ltd. bought a new stake in Cliffs Natural Resources during the first quarter valued at $45,125,000. IFP Advisors Inc boosted its stake in Cliffs Natural Resources by 50.0% in the first quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 35,266 shares of the mining company’s stock valued at $290,000 after buying an additional 11,755 shares during the last quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. boosted its stake in Cliffs Natural Resources by 784.5% in the first quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 452,176 shares of the mining company’s stock valued at $3,713,000 after buying an additional 401,056 shares during the last quarter. Strs Ohio boosted its stake in Cliffs Natural Resources by 103.8% in the first quarter. Strs Ohio now owns 15,900 shares of the mining company’s stock valued at $130,000 after buying an additional 8,100 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Janney Montgomery Scott LLC bought a new stake in Cliffs Natural Resources during the first quarter valued at $476,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 66.47% of the company’s stock.

Cliffs Natural Resources Company Profile

Cliffs Natural Resources Inc is a mining and natural resources company. The Company is a supplier of iron ore pellets to the North American steel industry from its mines and pellet plants located in Michigan and Minnesota. The Company’s segments include U.S. Iron Ore and Asia Pacific Iron Ore. The Company is a producer of iron ore pellets, primarily selling production from U.S.

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Analyst Recommendations for Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE:CLF)

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