Mining CEO blows his top at analysts

Cornelia Mascio
Ottobre 21, 2018

You are a disaster.

The chief executive of an iron-ore giant - claiming that a Goldman Sachs analyst gave him the shaft with a faulty profit estimate - went on a freaky tirade in a Friday conference call, warning, "You can run, but you can't hide".

Cleveland-Cliffs shares dropped 3.8 percent, to $11.05.

Goncalves's rant came after the mining company reported a third-quarter profit of almost $438 million, slightly below expectations.

He then promised to touch base with Korn - who apparently was not on the call - at a Goldman Sachs conference, and suggested he bring along an unidentified colleague who studies commodities for protection.

"We are going to screw these guys so badly that I don't believe that they will be able to only resign".

"It will be bad no matter what, but it will be a lot worse if you're alone", Goncalves said.

The harsh words are reminiscent of a confrontational performance in May by Elon Musk, when the Tesla CEO blasted what he call "boring, bonehead" questions about the electric auto maker during a conference call with stock analysts.

In afternoon trading, the shares were down 88 cents, or 7.7 percent, to $10.60.

"Matthew Korn from Goldman Sachs, you can run, but you can't hide", he said. The company's USA iron ore pellet sales volume in the third quarter of 2018 was 6.5 million long tons.

Korn referred to Cleveland-Cliff's diluted earnings of 64 cents a share, which fell short of analyst projections of 66 cents.

Goncalves later said on CNBC that Goldman Sachs had used the wrong share count - 303 million instead of 310 million - in calculating estimated earnings per share.

Cleveland-Cliffs did not respond to a request for comment, while a Goldman Sachs spokesperson said in an email that the investment banking firm declined to comment.

The CEO defended his comments on the call.

Cleveland-Cliffs and its predecessor, Cliffs Natural Resources Inc., have been on a roller-coaster ride this decade. They began the day up 59 percent for the year.

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