Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. Second Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. (NYSE:CLF) will unveil its latest earnings on Wednesday, July 27, 2011. Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. is an international mining company that operates primarily in North America and Australia.

Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for profit of $3.68 per share, a rise of 91.7% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved up from $3.43. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved up, but has dropped from $3.69 during the last month. For the year, analysts are projecting net income of $14.36 per share, a rise of 91.7% from last year.

Past Earnings Performance: The company is looking to make a streak of three quarters of beating estimates. Last quarter, it beat expectations by reporting profit of $3.11 per share, and the previous quarter, it had net income of $2.82.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: On average, analysts predict $1.79 billion in revenue this quarter, a rise of 51.7% from the year ago quarter. Analysts are forecasting total revenue of $7.11 billion for the year, a rise of 51.9% from last year’s revenue of $4.68 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts are bullish on this stock with 11 analysts rating it as a buy, none rating it as a sell and three rating it as a hold.

Key Stats:

The company has enjoyed double-digit year-over-year percentage revenue growth for the past four quarters. Over that span, the company has averaged growth of more than twofold, with the biggest boost coming in the second quarter of the last fiscal year when revenue rose more than threefold from the year earlier quarter.

The company has now seen net income rise in three straight quarters. In the first quarter, net income rose more than fourfold while it rose more than threefold in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year and more than fivefold in the third quarter of the last fiscal year.

The company increased its gross margin by 29.4 percentage points in the in the first quarter. Revenue rose 62.6% while cost of sales rose 2.4% to $591.3 million from a year earlier.

Competitors to Watch: Vale (NYSE:VALE), ArcelorMittal (NYSE:MT), Consolidated Thompson Iron Mines Ltd. (AMEX:CLM), Great Northern Iron Ore Properties (NYSE:GNI), AK Steel Holding Corp. (NYSE:AKS), BHP Billiton plc (NYSE:BBL), BHP Billiton Limited (NYSE:BHP), United States Steel Corp. (NYSE:X), and Mesabi Trust (NYSE:MSB).

Stock Price Performance: During June 22, 2011 to July 21, 2011, the stock price had risen $16.17 (19.2%) from $84.22 to $100.39. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between June 22, 2011 and July 5, 2011 when shares rose for nine-straight days, rising 12.6% (+$10.62) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between April 28, 2011 and May 4, 2011 when shares fell for five-straight days, falling 9.4% (-$9.04) over that span. Shares are up $22.61 (+29.1%) year to date.

(Source: Xignite Financials)

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