Why Did Jefferies Increase Its Target Price for Cleveland-Cliffs?

Jefferies increases CLF’s target price

Today, Jefferies analyst Seth Rosenelf raised the target price for Cleveland-Cliffs (CLF) from $11 to $13 while maintaining a “buy” rating on the stock. As reported by The Fly, the analyst believes the company’s dual exposure to seaborne pellets and domestic hot-rolled coil “continues to stand out as a winning combination.” In a note, he also told clients that while hot-rolled coil is drifting lower, Cliffs’s contracts remain in upgrade territory.

Why Did Jefferies Increase Its Target Price for Cleveland-Cliffs?

Turn in analyst sentiment

Cleveland-Cliffs stock has seen a turn in fortunes, as far as analyst sentiment is concerned, since March. At the end of March, Cleveland-Cliffs had “buy” ratings from only 30.0% of the analysts, compared to 73.0% of “buy” ratings currently.

The analysts covering the company have demonstrated a significant turnaround due to its positive growth outlook. Other positive factors include the overall improvement in the US steel sector’s dynamics following the imposition of tariffs. For a detailed analysis of this topic, see Revisiting the Case: How Does Cleveland-Cliffs Look Now?

Six upgrades in 2018 so far

ArcelorMittal (MT) has the most “buy” ratings among its steel (SLX) peers, as 100.0% of the analysts are bullish on the stock. Nucor (NUE) follows with 80.0% “buy” ratings. Steel Dynamics (STLD) has 71.0% “buy” ratings, U.S. Steel Corporation (X) has 56.0% “buy” ratings, and AK Steel (AKS) has 36.0% “buy” ratings.

CLF stock has seen six upgrades in 2018 so far. CLF’s latest rating change came on July 23, when J.P. Morgan (JPM) upgraded the stock from “neutral” to “overweight.” You can see What to Look Forward to in Cleveland-Cliffs’ Q2 2018 Results for a detailed look at the stock’s recent rating changes.