Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. (NYSE:CLF) was the recipient of some unusual options trading on Friday. Traders bought 8,895 put options on the stock. This represents an increase of 191% compared to the average daily volume of 3,052 put options.

In other news, Director John T. Baldwin bought 6,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, May 3rd. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $6.32 per share, for a total transaction of $37,920.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 87,991 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $556,103.12. The purchase was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Chairman Lourenco Goncalves bought 200,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, May 3rd. The stock was purchased at an average price of $6.31 per share, with a total value of $1,262,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 2,855,296 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $18,016,917.76. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders acquired 215,250 shares of company stock valued at $1,361,283 over the last quarter. Corporate insiders own 0.46% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in CLF. Alpha Windward LLC acquired a new position in Cliffs Natural Resources during the first quarter worth approximately $341,000. Searle & CO. acquired a new position in Cliffs Natural Resources during the fourth quarter worth approximately $1,326,000. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. raised its position in Cliffs Natural Resources by 3.5% in the fourth quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 230,451 shares of the mining company’s stock worth $1,939,000 after buying an additional 7,715 shares during the last quarter. Putnam Investments LLC raised its position in Cliffs Natural Resources by 51.9% in the fourth quarter. Putnam Investments LLC now owns 582,140 shares of the mining company’s stock worth $4,896,000 after buying an additional 198,910 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Numeric Investors LLC raised its position in Cliffs Natural Resources by 451.8% in the fourth quarter. Numeric Investors LLC now owns 160,025 shares of the mining company’s stock worth $1,346,000 after buying an additional 131,025 shares during the last quarter. 66.73% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE:CLF) traded up 6.09% during midday trading on Friday, reaching $6.62. The company had a trading volume of 22,143,256 shares. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $6.17 and a 200-day moving average price of $8.33. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.96 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 38.71 and a beta of 1.68. Cliffs Natural Resources has a one year low of $4.55 and a one year high of $12.37.

Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE:CLF) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 27th. The mining company reported ($0.11) EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.16 by $0.27. The business had revenue of $461.60 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $412.71 million. Cliffs Natural Resources had a net margin of 1.68% and a negative return on equity of 5.79%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 51.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.62 EPS. On average, equities analysts expect that Cliffs Natural Resources will post $0.96 earnings per share for the current year.

CLF has been the subject of several research reports. J P Morgan Chase & Co increased their target price on Cliffs Natural Resources from $12.00 to $13.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Monday, March 27th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Cliffs Natural Resources from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $7.75 target price for the company in a research report on Thursday, April 20th. FBR & Co upgraded Cliffs Natural Resources from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and dropped their target price for the company from $11.00 to $10.00 in a research report on Friday, April 28th. Axiom Securities restated a “sell” rating on shares of Cliffs Natural Resources in a research report on Thursday, March 16th. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded Cliffs Natural Resources from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, May 11th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $8.69.

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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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