Cleveland-Cliffs (NYSE:CLF +10.2%) surges to its highest level in nearly nine years, maintaining its steady climb in recent weeks as Russia's war on Ukraine hits global steel supplies.
J.P. Morgan names Cleveland-Cliffs as its top pick in the steel sector, as reported by Barron's, with analyst Michael Glick saying Russia's invasion "nearly instantly set off a butterfly effect across the steel markets," with the impact only beginning to be felt in North America.
While Glick also issues Overweight ratings for other steel names including Commercial Metals (CMC +4.3%), Steel Dynamics (STLD +2.0%) and Stelco (OTCPK:STZHF +6.7%), Cleveland-Cliffs is his favorite because it is "long raw materials via its iron ore assets, pellets with excess capacity, [hot-briquetted iron] plant, scrap business and also has key steelmaking assets for the automotive industry."
JPM raises its steel price forecasts to an average of ~$1,500/ton for the rest of the year and to ~$1,300/ton for 2023, and still sees broad upside for the group, noting that "in prior cycles, you historically want to own the stocks up until the last few price hikes."
Cleveland-Cliffs is the largest supplier of steel to the U.S. auto sector by a wide margin, and CEO Lourenco Goncalves believes the company is primed to benefit from an eventual auto industry recovery.