Cleveland-Cliffs Reports Record Revenues and Operating Income for 2006

Margins Expand to Historic High on Revenues of $2 Billion

CLEVELAND, Feb. 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Cleveland-Cliffs Inc (NYSE: CLF) today reported record financial results for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2006.

    Following are 2006 highlights:

     * Revenues from product sales and services of $2.0 billion exceeded the
       prior record set last year by 15 percent.

     * Operating income reached $387.5 million, surpassing the year-ago record
       by nine percent.

     * Sales margin increased 12 percent to an all-time high of $435.8

Net income was $83.7 million, or $1.59 per share, in the 2006 fourth quarter and $293.8 million, or $5.46 per share, for the full year. This compares with 2005 net income of $66.1 million, or $1.18 per share, and $277.6 million, or $4.99 per share, for the fourth quarter and full year, respectively. All per-share amounts are diluted and have been adjusted to reflect the June 30, 2006, two-for-one stock split.

Revenues from iron ore product sales and services of $622.6 million in the final quarter of 2006 and $2.0 billion for the full year marked the highest quarterly and annual revenues in the Company's history. Revenues were 33 percent and 15 percent higher than the $468.9 million and $1.7 billion reported for the respective 2005 fourth-quarter and full-year periods.

Operating income jumped 73 percent in the fourth quarter -- reaching $105.4 million. For the full year, operating income set a new record of $387.5 million, exceeding the previous record of $356.5 million established in 2005 by almost nine percent.

President and Chief Executive Officer Joseph A. Carrabba commented: "Generating consistent profitability and growth are our primary objectives and the record results we are reporting today reinforce our business strategy and the efforts of Cliffs' associates worldwide. During 2006, Cliffs solidified and enhanced its core North American operations and made progress toward further diversifying into faster growing international markets."

North American Iron Ore

Fourth-quarter 2006 North American pellet sales volume was 7.2 million tons, an 18 percent increase from the 6.1 million tons sold in last year's final three months. Sales margin increased $14.0 million, or 18 percent, to $93.4 million, up from $79.4 million in 2005, primarily due to higher sales prices and higher volume, partially offset by increased costs.

For the full year, pellet sales volume totaled 21.5 million tons, compared with 22.3 million tons in 2005 -- a decrease of three percent. Pellet sales margin of $349.2 million declined three percent from the $358.6 million generated in 2005, primarily reflecting 12 percent higher per-ton costs and lower sales volume, largely offset by higher sales prices. The cost increase primarily resulted from higher maintenance activity, increased energy and supply pricing, higher stripping volume and higher employment costs. Fourth- quarter and full-year costs were also impacted approximately $15 million related to production curtailments caused by the electrical explosions at United Taconite in October.

Australian Iron Ore

Fourth-quarter 2006 Portman sales volume was 2.3 million tonnes, compared with 1.7 million tonnes in the 2005 fourth quarter -- an increase of 37 percent. Revenues increased 89 percent, to $111.5 million for the quarter, owing to higher volume and prices. Sales margin of $25.8 million was $27.2 million higher than last year's final quarter, primarily due to higher volume and pricing and lower purchase accounting adjustments totaling $10.6 million.

Full-year sales volume increased 51 percent to 7.4 million tonnes, versus 4.9 million tonnes in 2005. The higher sales volume primarily reflects the exclusion of first-quarter 2005 sales, prior to the March 31, 2005 acquisition. In addition, the two-million-tonne expansion of the Koolyanobbing operation, which was completed in the first half of 2006, contributed to the volume increases for both the fourth-quarter and full-year periods. Per-tonne cost of goods sold and operating expenses increased four percent for the full year, compared with 2005. Sales margin for 2006 surged 185 percent to $86.6 million from $30.4 million in 2005. The improvement was principally due to higher volume and sales prices, partially offset by increased production costs. The increase in production costs was primarily due to higher contract labor.

    Inventory and Production

    Following is a summary of production tonnage:

                                               Production (In Millions)
                                             Fourth Quarter      Full Year
            Mine                             2006     2005     2006     2005
    North America (1)
    Empire                                    1.3      1.1      4.9      4.8
    Tilden                                    1.7      2.0      6.9      7.9
    Hibbing                                   2.0      2.3      8.3      8.5
    Northshore                                1.3      1.2      5.1      4.9
    United Taconite                            .5      1.2      4.3      4.9
    Wabush                                    1.2      1.1      4.1      4.9
      Total                                   8.0      8.9     33.6     35.9
    Company share of total                    4.9      5.5     20.8     22.1

    Australia (2)
    Koolyanobbing                             2.1      1.8      7.0      4.7
    Cockatoo Island                            .2       .2       .7       .5
      Total                                   2.3      2.0      7.7      5.2

    (1) Long tons of pellets of 2,240 pounds.
    (2) Metric tonnes of 2,205 pounds.  The 2005 total reflects
        production since the March 31, 2005 acquisition.

At Tilden, production was one million tons lower than in 2005 due to unplanned equipment repairs and a change in production mix. The decrease in United Taconite fourth-quarter and full-year production was due to the previously mentioned electrical accident. Full production resumed in January 2007. The decrease in Wabush production was principally associated with pit dewatering issues, which also adversely impacted production costs. Wabush completed actions to increase annual pellet production near the end of 2006. Production at Wabush for 2007 is estimated to be 4.8 million tons. The increase in Australian production reflects the exclusion of production prior to the March 31, 2005 acquisition from last year's total and the two-million- tonne per annum expansion completed during 2006 at Portman's Koolyanobbing operation. Cliffs' previously announced restart of an idled furnace at Northshore will increase pellet capacity by .8 million tons, and is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2008.

At December 31, 2006, Cliffs had 2.6 million tons of pellets in its North American inventory, compared with 3.3 million tons at December 31, 2005. The decrease from 2005 was primarily due to lower production. At December 31, 2006, Portman had .9 million tonnes of finished product inventory, .3 million tonnes higher than last year.


At December 31, 2006, Cliffs had $351.7 million of cash and cash equivalents, including $97.6 million at Portman, and there are currently no borrowings under the Company's $500 million revolving credit facility. At December 31, 2005, Cliffs had $192.8 million of cash and cash equivalents. The $158.9 million increase in cash and cash equivalents was due primarily to $428.5 million of net cash provided by operating activities, partially offset by capital expenditures totaling $132.9 million (including $39.6 million related to Portman), $121.5 million for 3.2 million shares of common stock repurchases, and $25.8 million of dividends on common and preferred shares. As of year-end, an additional 1.3 million shares remain authorized for repurchase under the Company's July 2006 two-million-share repurchase authorization. Also included in cash from operating activities was planned pension and VEBA funding totaling $64.2 million and a refund of $67.5 million from the Wisconsin Electric Power (WEPCO) escrow account.


North America

Although production schedules are subject to change, all of Cliffs' operations are expected to operate at or near capacity in 2007. Cliffs' total North American pellet production is expected to be approximately 36 million tons, with its share approximating 22 million tons.

North American pellet sales volume is projected to be approximately 21 million tons in 2007. Revenues per ton from iron ore sales and services is dependent upon several price-adjustment factors included in term sales contracts, primarily the percentage change from 2006 to 2007 in the international pellet price for blast furnace pellets, PPI and actual 2007 steel pricing for one customer.

Following is the estimated impact on average North American revenues per ton from iron ore sales and services (excluding freight and venture partners' cost reimbursements) based on the average 2006 per-ton price of $63.86:

                                                      2007 Revenue Effect
                                                      (Change from 2006)

                                                                     Price per
                                                    Percent             Ton
    Potential increase (decrease):
      Each 10 percent change in
       international pellet price                     2.5 %             $1.62
      Each 10 percent change in PPI -
       industrial commodities less fuel               1.9                1.24
      Each 10 percent change in PPI -
       fuel and related products                      1.0                 .65
      Each $10 per ton change from $520
       per ton                                         .4                 .28
        Average hot rolled coil price
    Known year-over-year increase**                   1.4                 .92

    *  Valid for decreases through $400 per ton; no upper limit.
    ** Increase represents a combination of contractual base-price increase,
       lag-year adjustments and capped pricing on one contract.

In December 2006 and January 2007, Companhia Vale do Rio Doce (CVRD) reached settlements for 2007 price negotiations with European and Asian customers for blast furnace pellets resulting in a 5.28 percent increase. Based on these initial settlements, it is widely expected that the 2007 Eastern Canadian pellet price, which is the predominant international price factor affecting the Company's North American contracts, will also increase approximately five percent. The net corresponding impact on Cliffs' 2007 average pellet pricing from this factor is expected to be positive.

North American production costs per ton are expected to increase approximately two percent from the 2006 cost of goods sold and operating expenses level of $47.63 per ton (excluding freight and venture partners' cost reimbursements).


Portman's estimate of 2007 production is 8.5 million tonnes, including .4 million from Cockatoo Island. Feasibility studies have concluded that mining and shipments from the current operations at Cockatoo Island can be continued until late 2007. Portman's estimate of 2007 sales is 8.5 million tonnes, compared with 7.4 million tonnes in 2006. In December 2006, settlements between a number of the major seaborne iron ore producers and the Chinese steel industry resulted in a 9.5 percent price increase for 2007. Sales of lump and fines ore from Portman will reflect that negotiated increase, and combined with other factors, is expected to result in an approximate seven percent increase on a Cliffs basis. Unit production costs at Portman are expected to be approximately 10 percent higher in 2007, compared with the $36.93 reported for 2006.

"Our outlook regarding industry conditions during the coming year is very encouraging," added Carrabba. "Domestically, we see the recently reported corrections in steel inventories continuing, which should result in firmer prices by mid-year. Internationally, demand from Asian steel producers remains vigorous and shows signs of sustained strength in 2007 and beyond.

"Entering 2007, Cliffs is serving a reinvigorated North American steel industry and expanding its presence in the world's fastest growing steel- related material markets."

Cliffs will host a conference call to discuss its fourth-quarter and full- year 2006 results tomorrow, February 22, 2007, at 9:00 a.m. Eastern. The call will be broadcast live on Cliffs' website at A replay of the call will be available on the website for 30 days. Cliffs plans to file its 2006 Form 10-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission in the next several days. For a more complete discussion of operations and financial position, please refer to the Form 10-K.

To be added to Cleveland-Cliffs' e-mail distribution list, please click on the link below:

Cleveland-Cliffs Inc, headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, is the largest producer of iron ore pellets in North America and sells the majority of its pellets to integrated steel companies in the United States and Canada. Cleveland-Cliffs Inc operates a total of six iron ore mines located in Michigan, Minnesota and Eastern Canada. The Company is majority owner of Portman Limited, an iron ore mining company in Australia, serving the Asian iron ore markets with direct-shipping fines and lump ore.

This news release contains predictive statements that are intended to be made as "forward-looking" within the safe harbor protections of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Although the Company believes that its forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, such statements are subject to risk and uncertainties.

Actual results may differ materially from such statements for a variety of reasons, including: changes in the sales mix; the impact of other price adjustment factors on the Company's North American sales contracts; changes in demand for iron ore pellets by North American integrated steel producers, or changes in Asian iron ore demand due to changes in steel utilization rates, operational factors, electric furnace production or imports into the United States and Canada of semi-finished steel or pig iron; availability of capital equipment and component parts; availability of float capacity on the Great Lakes; changes in the financial condition of the Company's partners and/or customers; rejection of major contracts and/or venture agreements by customers and/or participants under provisions of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code or similar statutes in other countries; the impact of consolidation in the steel industry; events or circumstances that could impair or adversely impact the viability of a mine and the carrying value of associated assets; inability to achieve expected production levels; failure to receive or maintain required environmental permits; problems with productivity, labor disputes, weather conditions, fluctuations in ore grade, tons mined, changes in cost factors including energy costs, transportation and employee benefit costs; and the effect of these various risks on the Company's future cash flows, debt levels, liquidity and financial position.

Reference is also made to the detailed explanation of the many factors and risks that may cause such predictive statements to turn out differently, set forth in the Company's Annual Report and Reports on Form 10-K and previous news releases filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which are publicly available on Cleveland-Cliffs' website. The information contained in this document speaks as of the date of this news release and may be superseded by subsequent events.

News releases and other information on the Company are available on the Internet at:

    CONTACT: Media: 1-216-694-4870
    Financial Community: 1-800-214-0739, or 1-216-694-5459

                           CLEVELAND-CLIFFS INC


    (In Millions, Except Per       Fourth Quarter         Year
     Share Amounts)                2006      2005     2006      2005
     Iron ore                      $554.6  $417.1  $1,735.5  $1,512.2
     Freight and venture partners'
      cost reimbursements            68.0    51.8     259.8     227.3
                                    622.6   468.9   1,995.3   1,739.5
     OPERATING EXPENSES            (503.4) (390.9) (1,559.5) (1,350.5)
     SALES MARGIN                   119.2    78.0     435.8     389.0
     Casualty insurance recoveries             .3                12.3
     Royalties and management fee
      revenue                         3.1     3.6      11.7      13.1
     Customer bankruptcy
      recoveries                      (.1)    2.0       4.0       2.0
     Administrative, selling and
      general expenses              (17.3)  (14.6)    (54.6)    (47.9)
     Miscellaneous - net               .5    (8.2)     (9.4)    (12.0)
                                    (13.8)  (16.9)    (48.3)    (32.5)
     OPERATING INCOME               105.4    61.1     387.5     356.5
     Gain on sale of assets           7.7     9.5       9.1       9.5
     Interest income                  4.9     3.9      17.2      13.9
     Interest expense                 (.8)   (1.0)     (3.6)     (4.5)
     Other - net                      (.1)    1.2       (.6)     (7.3)
                                     11.7    13.6      22.1      11.6
      ACCOUNTING CHANGE             117.1    74.7     409.6     368.1
    INCOME TAX EXPENSE              (28.2)   (6.2)    (99.0)    (84.8)
    MINORITY INTEREST (net of tax)   (5.2)   (2.4)    (17.1)    (10.1)
     OPERATIONS                      83.7    66.1     293.5     273.2
     of tax)                                             .3       (.8)
     EFFECT OF ACCOUNTING CHANGE     83.7    66.1     293.8     272.4
     ACCOUNTING CHANGE (net of tax
     $2.8)                                                        5.2
    NET INCOME                       83.7    66.1     293.8     277.6
     PREFERRED STOCK DIVIDENDS       (1.4)   (1.4)     (5.6)     (5.6)
     SHARES                         $82.3   $64.7    $288.2    $272.0

     Continuing operations          $2.02   $1.49     $6.84     $6.16
     Discontinued operations                            .01      (.02)
     Cumulative effect of
      accounting change                                           .12
       BASIC                        $2.02   $1.49     $6.85     $6.26
     Continuing operations          $1.59   $1.18     $5.45     $4.92
     Discontinued operations                            .01      (.02)
     Cumulative effect of
      accounting change                                           .09
       DILUTED                      $1.59   $1.18     $5.46     $4.99

     Basic                           40.7    43.6      42.1      43.5
     Diluted                         52.6    56.0      53.8      55.7

                              CLEVELAND-CLIFFS INC


    (In Millions, Brackets Indicate
     Decrease in Cash)                                2006              2005
        Net income                                  $293.8            $277.6
          Cumulative effect of accounting
           change                                                       (5.2)
          (Income) loss from discontinued
           operations                                  (.3)               .8
          Income from continuing
           operations                                293.5             273.2
        Depreciation and amortization:
          Consolidated                                73.9              48.6
          Share of associated companies                9.4               4.2
        Minority interest                             17.1              10.1
        Share-based compensation                       4.9
        Deferred income taxes                          3.2              (4.4)
        Pensions and other
         postretirement benefits                     (40.3)            (35.2)
        Gain on sale of assets                        (9.9)            (11.3)
        Environmental and closure
         obligations                                  (1.6)              6.0
        Excess tax benefit from share-
         based compensation                           (1.2)
        (Gain) loss on currency hedges                                   9.8
        Other                                          (.1)              5.6
        Changes in operating assets and
          Sales of short-term marketable
           securities                                 13.6             182.8
          Purchases of short-term
           marketable securities                      (3.7)            (10.0)
          Product inventories                         14.4             (10.9)
          Other                                       55.3              46.1
          Net cash from operating
           activities                                428.5             514.6

        Purchase of property, plant and
          Consolidated                              (119.5)            (97.8)
          Share of associated companies              (13.4)             (8.5)
        Investment in Portman Limited                                 (409.0)
        Payment of currency hedges                                      (9.8)
        Proceeds from sale of assets                   5.5               4.4
          Net cash used by investing
           activities                               (127.4)           (520.7)

        Borrowing under Revolving Credit
         facility                                                      175.0
        Repayment under Revolving Credit
         facility                                                     (175.0)
        Contributions by minority
         interest                                      1.9               2.1
        Excess tax benefit from share-
         based compensation                            1.2
        Proceeds from stock options
         exercised                                      .7               5.7
        Repurchases of Common Stock                 (121.5)
        Common Stock dividends                       (20.2)            (13.1)
        Preferred Stock dividends                     (5.6)             (5.6)
        Repayment of capital leases                   (3.1)
        Issuance costs of Revolving
         Credit                                       (1.0)             (2.7)
        Repayment of other borrowings                  (.8)
          Net cash used by financing
           activities                               (148.4)            (13.6)
       CASH                                            5.9              (2.2)
     OPERATIONS                                      158.6             (21.9)
       OPERATING ACTIVITIES                             .3              (5.2)
       INVESTING ACTIVITIES                                              3.0

     EQUIVALENTS                                    $158.9            $(24.1)

                               CLEVELAND-CLIFFS INC


                                                     (In Millions)
                                          December 31 September 30 December 31
                                              2006        2006        2005
                    ASSETS                (unaudited) (unaudited)
       Cash and cash equivalents               $351.7      $203.2      $192.8
       Marketable securities                                  3.7         9.9
       Trade accounts receivable - net           62.0        73.3        53.7
       Receivables from associated
        companies                                 4.0        33.6         5.4
       Product inventories                      104.7       199.9       119.1
       Work in process inventories               50.6        47.8        56.7
       Supplies and other inventories            77.5        69.3        70.5
       Deferred and refundable income
        taxes                                     1.6        13.2        12.1
       Other                                     83.7        60.4       115.8
                        TOTAL CURRENT ASSETS    735.8       704.4       636.0
    PROPERTIES - NET                            884.9       844.0       802.8
    LONG-TERM RECEIVABLES                        43.7        45.0        48.7
    PREPAID PENSIONS                              2.2        80.4        80.4
    DEFERRED INCOME TAXES                       107.0        55.2        66.5
    MARKETABLE SECURITIES                        28.9        22.2        10.6
    OTHER ASSETS                                 90.7        97.9       101.7
                              TOTAL ASSETS   $1,893.2    $1,849.1    $1,746.7

       Accounts payable and accrued
        expenses                               $311.3      $370.7      $355.0
       Payables to associated companies           3.4         2.9         7.7
                    TOTAL CURRENT LIABILITIES   314.7       373.6       362.7
    PENSIONS                                    140.4        95.0       119.6
    OTHER POSTRETIREMENT BENEFITS               139.0        67.3        85.2
     OBLIGATIONS                                 95.1        91.5        87.3
    DEFERRED INCOME TAXES                       117.9       109.7       116.7
    OTHER LIABILITIES                            68.5        65.6        79.4
                         TOTAL LIABILITIES      875.6       802.7       850.9
    MINORITY INTEREST                            85.8       118.2        71.7
     CONVERTIBLE PERPETUAL PREFERRED STOCK      172.3       172.3       172.5
    SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY                        759.5       755.9       651.6
        EQUITY                               $1,893.2    $1,849.1    $1,746.7

    Notes to Unaudited Financial Statements

     1.   On March 31, 2005, Cliffs initiated the acquisition in Portman
          Limited by purchasing approximately 68.7 percent of the outstanding
          shares of Portman.  On April 19, 2005, Cliffs completed the
          acquisition of approximately 80.4 percent of Portman.  As a result
          of this transaction, Portman became a consolidated subsidiary of
          Cliffs. The allocation of purchase price was completed in the first
          quarter of 2006.

     2.   In management's opinion, the unaudited financial statements present
          fairly the Company's financial position and results.  All financial
          information and footnote disclosures required by generally accepted
          accounting principles for complete financial statements have not
          been included.  For further information, please refer to the
          Company's latest Annual Report.

                               CLEVELAND-CLIFFS INC


                                           Fourth Quarter         Year
                                            2006    2005     2006      2005
    Iron Ore Sales (Tons) - In Thousands    7,201   6,101    21,525    22,251

    Sales Margin - In Millions
      Revenues from iron ore sales and
       services*                           $443.1  $358.0  $1,374.5  $1,307.7
      Cost of goods sold and operating
       expenses*                            349.7   278.6   1,025.3     949.1
        Sales margin                        $93.4   $79.4    $349.2    $358.6

    Sales Margin - Per Ton
      Revenues from iron ore sales and
       services*                           $61.54  $58.68    $63.86    $58.77
      Cost of goods sold and operating
       expenses*                            48.55   45.66     47.63     42.65
        Sales margin                       $12.99  $13.02    $16.23    $16.12

     *Excludes revenues and expenses related to freight and venture partners'
       cost reimbursements which are offsetting and have no impact on
       operating results.

    Iron Ore Sales (Tonnes) - In Thousands  2,265   1,651     7,430     4,909

    Sales Margin - In Millions
      Revenues from iron ore sales and
       services                            $111.5   $59.1    $361.0    $204.5
      Cost of goods sold and operating
       expenses                              85.7    60.5     274.4     174.1
        Sales margin                        $25.8   $(1.4)    $86.6     $30.4

    Sales Margin - Per Tonne
      Revenues from iron ore sales and
       services                            $49.23  $35.80    $48.59    $41.66
      Cost of goods sold and operating
       expenses                             37.82   36.64     36.93     35.47
        Sales margin                       $11.41   $(.84)   $11.66     $6.19


    Sales Margin - In Millions
      Cliffs' sales margin per above        $25.8   $(1.4)    $86.6     $30.4
      Cliffs' purchase accounting
       adjustments                           11.3    21.9      40.9      48.4
        Portman sales margin ($US)          $37.1   $20.5    $127.5     $78.8

    Sales Margin - Per Tonne
      Cliffs' sales margin per above       $11.41   $(.84)   $11.66     $6.19
      Cliffs' purchase accounting
       adjustments                           4.99   13.26      5.50      9.86
        Portman sales margin ($US)         $16.40  $12.42    $17.16    $16.05

SOURCE Cleveland-Cliffs Inc