For the first six months, the company recorded revenues of $12.3 billion and net income of $1.4 billion, or $2.64 per diluted share. In the first six months of 2021, the company recorded revenues of $9.1 billion and net income of $852 million, or $1.42 per diluted share.
Lourenco Goncalves, Cliffs’ chairman, president, and CEO, said the second-quarter results demonstrate the continued execution of the company’s strategy. With free cash flow that more than doubled compared to the first quarter, Cliffs achieved its largest quarterly debt reduction since its transformation began a couple years ago, he said.
Goncalves said the company’s “industry leading exposure” to the automotive sector separates it from all other U.S. steel companies.
He said the health of the steel market over the past year and a half has been largely driven by the construction sector, with automotive lagging far behind mainly due to supply chain issues unrelated to steel.
Nevertheless, with automotive demand outpacing production for more than two years, the consumer backlog for cars, SUVs and trucks has become enormous, he said. As supply chain problems continue to be resolved, pent-up demand for electric vehicles continues to increase, and light vehicle manufacturing catches up with demand, Cleveland-Cliffs will be the “primary beneficiary” among all U.S. steel companies, according to Goncalves said.
Cleveland-Cliffs purchased AK Steel for $1.1 billion in 2020. After that the Cleveland-based company bought the U.S. assets of ArcelorMittal for $1.4 billion, making it the largest flat-rolled steel producer in North America, officials said.