Investors may be too optimistic over Cliffs' Bloom Lake outcome, Stanley says

|About: Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. (CLF)|By:, SA News Editor

Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF -3.2%) is looking into whether its Bloom Lake project makes sense in the current environment, and Morgan Stanley believes a decision could come when CLF reports its Q4 earnings on Feb. 13.

The firm surveyed investors to get a sense of the consensus opinion around Bloom Lake and found it perhaps overly bullish; most investors expect CLF to find a new partner for the remaining ~$1.25B needed to complete Phase II, but the firm thinks it could be difficult to find a new partner on reasonable terms.

The firm also forecasts higher shipping costs, so it lowers its price target on CLF to $12 from $14 while maintaining its Underweight rating.

The latest report indicating a cooling Chinese economy is weighing on CLF and other global base-metal miners: RIO -0.8%, BHP -1.2%, VALE -2.3%.