Cleveland-Cliffs (CLF) currently has 72.7% “buy” ratings from the 11 analysts covering it, according to the consensus compiled by Thomson Reuters. In the past year, analyst sentiment for Cleveland-Cliffs has improved. Compared to 72.7% “buy” recommendations currently, CLF stock only had 50% “buy” recommendations in May 2018.
Cleveland-Cliffs’ target price of $13.5 implies an upside of ~49% based on its current market price. Among Cleveland-Cliffs’ US steel peers (XME), ArcelorMittal (MT) has 80% “buy” recommendations, while Nucor (NUE), Steel Dynamics (STLD), and U.S. Steel (X) have 71.4%, 61.5%, and 25% “buy” recommendations, respectively. AK Steel (AKS) has the lowest percentage of “buy” recommendations at 7.1%.
In contrast to its peers, analyst sentiment for Cliffs has been improving. On April 26, Credit Suisse (CS) upgraded CLF stock from “neutral” to “outperform” and raised the target price from $13 to $14. CLF analyst Curt Woodworth likes the company’s potential after the hot-briquetted iron plant ramps up fully in 2020. He sees a potential stock price value of $16 to $18 after the plant becomes operational even if the steel prices remain low.
On April 25, B. Riley boosted CLF’s target price from $14 to $15 following the company’s earnings beat in Q1 and pricing guidance.