Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. Third Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. (NYSE:CLF) will unveil its latest earnings on Thursday, October 27, 2011. Cliffs Natural Resources 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 net income of $3.66 per share, a rise of 67.9% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from $3.95. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It also has dropped from $3.71 during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 79.7% versus last year to $13.46.

Past Earnings Performance: Last quarter, the company missed estimates by 72 cents, coming in at profit of $3 per share versus a mean estimate of net income of $3.72 per share. In the first quarter, the company beat estimates by 86 cents.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: On average, analysts predict $2.16 billion in revenue this quarter, a rise of 60% from the year ago quarter. Analysts are forecasting total revenue of $7.38 billion for the year, a rise of 57.7% from last year’s revenue of $4.68 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts are bullish on this stock with 12 analysts rating it as a buy, none rating it as a sell and three rating it as a hold.

A Look Back: In the second quarter, profit rose 56.4% to $407.7 million ($2.92 a share) from $260.7 million ($1.92 a share) the year earlier, but fell short analyst expectations. Revenue rose 52.5% to $1.81 billion from $1.18 billion.

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 72.7%, with the biggest boost coming in the third quarter of the last fiscal year when revenue rose more than twofold from the year earlier quarter.

The company has seen net income rise in three straight quarters. Net income rose more than fourfold in the first quarter and more than threefold in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year.

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 July 28, 2011 to October 21, 2011, the stock price had fallen $29.15 (-32.7%) from $89.18 to $60.03. 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% (+$10.58) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between September 15, 2011 and September 22, 2011 when shares fell for six-straight days, falling 30.6% (-$24.30) over that span. Shares are down $17.44 (-22.5%) year to date.

(Source: Xignite Financials)

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