Cliff’s Natural Resources Inc. (CLF) , the third-largest US mining company by market-cap, was trading 8 percent higher in Friday’s session after the company’s third-quarter earnings statement released the evening prior showed a 23 percent jump in profits from the same period last year.
For the recently-ended Q3, net income was at $104.30 million, $0.66 per share, on revenue of $1.55 billion, against the prior-year period during which the company netted income of $85.1 million, or $0.59 per share on just slightly lower revenue of $1.54 billion. In terms of what analysts had been expecting, Cliff’s came in substantially shy of the $0.73 per share earnings estimate, and eked out a beat on forecasts for revenue of $1.47 billion.
The quarterly performance was largely the result of the company’s successful attempts to reduce the cost of goods sold, as well as operating expenses. The year-over-year decline in exploration costs was particularly dramatic in this regard, down to $10.6 million from last year’s $45.6 million.
Cliff’s also benefitted from a 17 percent increase in the price of seaborne iron ore, and despite recent fears about global oversupply as well as decreases in sales volume across all but one of its segments, either maintained or increased guidance in all segments for the remainder of 2013.
The company also announced the appointment of Gary Halverson, formerly the interim COO of Canada’s Barrick Gold (ABX) to the posts of President and COO. Cliff’s Canadian iron ore segment was the only one to see an increase in sales volume throughout Q3. The appointment is effective as of Nov. 18.
Shares had hit an intraday high of $25.63 before modestly paring back these gains, as investors reacted positively to the news.