Cleveland-Cliffs (NYSE: CLF) and First Quantum Minerals (OTCMKTS:FQVLF) are both basic materials companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their valuation, risk, earnings, institutional ownership, profitability, analyst recommendations and dividends.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Cleveland-Cliffs and First Quantum Minerals’ gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Cleveland-Cliffs $2.33 billion 1.08 $367.00 million $0.50 16.86
First Quantum Minerals $3.31 billion 3.06 -$316.00 million N/A N/A

Cleveland-Cliffs has higher earnings, but lower revenue than First Quantum Minerals.


First Quantum Minerals pays an annual dividend of $0.01 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.1%. Cleveland-Cliffs does not pay a dividend.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent recommendations and price targets for Cleveland-Cliffs and First Quantum Minerals, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Cleveland-Cliffs 2 5 8 0 2.40
First Quantum Minerals 0 4 1 1 2.50

Cleveland-Cliffs presently has a consensus price target of $9.85, indicating a potential upside of 16.84%. Given Cleveland-Cliffs’ higher possible upside, research analysts clearly believe Cleveland-Cliffs is more favorable than First Quantum Minerals.


This table compares Cleveland-Cliffs and First Quantum Minerals’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Cleveland-Cliffs 15.12% -40.15% 9.98%
First Quantum Minerals -4.52% 3.23% 1.57%

Institutional and Insider Ownership

65.0% of Cleveland-Cliffs shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 0.2% of First Quantum Minerals shares are held by institutional investors. 0.9% of Cleveland-Cliffs shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Volatility & Risk

Cleveland-Cliffs has a beta of 1.67, indicating that its share price is 67% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, First Quantum Minerals has a beta of 3.29, indicating that its share price is 229% more volatile than the S&P 500.


First Quantum Minerals beats Cleveland-Cliffs on 8 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Cleveland-Cliffs

Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. operates as an iron ore mining company in the United States. The company operates four iron ore mines in Michigan and Minnesota; and Koolyanobbing iron ore mining complex located in Western Australia. It sells its products to integrated steel companies and steel producers in the United States and the Asia Pacific. The company was formerly known as Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. and changed its name to Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. in August 2017. Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. was founded in 1847 and is headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio.

About First Quantum Minerals

First Quantum Minerals Ltd. engages in the exploration, development, and production of mineral properties. It primarily explores for copper, nickel, gold, and zinc ores, as well as produces acid. The company operates in seven mines and one copper smelter, including the Ravensthorpe nickel mine in Australia; the Kansanshi copper-gold mine in Zambia; the Sentinel copper operation in North Western Province of Zambia; the Guelb Moghrein copper-gold mine in Mauritania; the Çayeli copper-zinc mine in Turkey; the Las Cruces copper mine in Spain; and the Pyhäsalmi copper-zinc mine in Finland. It also has interests in copper and nickel projects at various stages of development located in Panama, Argentina, Peru, and Zambia. The company was formerly known as First Quantum Ventures Ltd. and changed its name to First Quantum Minerals Ltd. in July 1996. First Quantum Minerals Ltd. was founded in 1983 and is based in Vancouver, Canada.

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