Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF) continues to whittle away at itself in an effort to rebuild amid a period of low commodities prices.
On Tuesday, the Ohio-based supplier of iron-ore pellets to the steel industry announced the sale of its remaining coal business to Seneca Coal Resources for $268 million. Shares of CLF are down 77% for the year, and have been trading below $2 -- although they popped at Wednesday's open on the news.
"We are pleased to have found a buyer that was able to agree on a transaction that not only brings real value to Cliffs shareholders, but will also preserve jobs for the exceptional people at these two mines," Lourenco Goncalves, CEO of Cliffs Natural Resources, said in the statement released on Tuesday.
The decision to sell its coal business did not come lightly, as the company weighed the risks of selling the assets in a depressed market. During the third quarter earnings call, Goncalves said that the company would try to extract as much value as possible from its mines while it waited for an appropriate bid.
"From our side, we have no intention to be at the mercy of the buyers' timelines. We control the process and not them," Goncalves said in October. "While the effort to sell these assets continues, we must do more to shore up profitability as we operate these mines during the sale process."
The sale of the company's coal business has largely been viewed as a positive, as it will allow Cliffs Natural Resources to focus on its core, iron ore business. That said, the near-term outlook for that business appears bleak, as prices of iron ore have fallen 45% year to date.