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Cleveland-Cliffs forecasts it will bring in $5 billion this year

Cleveland-Cliffs forecasts it will bring in $5 billion this year

Cleveland-Cliffs forecasts $5 billion in EBITDA this year

The sign to Cleveland-Cliffs Burns Harbor is shown.

Strong steel prices and favorable market conditions have given Cleveland-Cliffs a rosier financial outlook for the year.

The Ohio-based steelmaker, one of the Calumet Region's biggest employers, expects to pull in $1.3 billion in Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization in the second quarter, up from an earlier projection of $1.2 billion when it reported its first-quarter results.

The Cleveland-based steelmaker, which has swollen in size due to its acquisitions of ArcelorMittal USA and AK Steel, brought in $2.3 billion in revenue in the fourth quarter, as compared to $534 million in revenue in the fourth quarter of 2019. The company pulled in $286 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, up from $111 million in EBITDA at the same time the previous year.

Cleveland-Cliffs projects it will bring in $5 billion in EBITDA this year, up from earlier forecasts of $4 billion during its first-quarter earnings and $3.5 billion at the beginning of the year. The steelmaker is benefiting from high prices, strong market conditions and better-than-expected contractual renewals, so it's raising its full-year revenue projection.

The steelmaker's new forecast for full-year EBITDA "is based on current contractual business and the conservative assumption that the U.S. hot-rolled coil index price averages $1,175 per net ton for the remainder of the year."

Steel prices have been soaring. This month, the price of hot-rolled band rose 3% to $1,680 a ton, cold-rolled coil 5% to $1,890, and standard plate 7% to $1,421, according to the steel pricing website Steel Benchmarker.

Cleveland-Cliffs plans to report its second-quarter financial results on July 22.

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The 174-year-old company went from being a longtime iron ore miner, supplying the steel industry to North America's largest flat-rolled steel producer, when it acquired ArcelorMittal USA and AK Steel last year.

It pulled in $4 billion in consolidated revenue in the first quarter but turned a profit of $41 million, or 7 cents per share, because of one-time charges, including severance and acquisition costs.

Cleveland-Cliffs sold 4.2 million tons of steel in the first quarter, about a third of which went to the automotive industry.

The steelmaker now runs the steel mills in East Chicago, Burns Harbor, Gary, Riverdale and New Carlisle. 


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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.

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