October 19, 2018 / 8:06 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-'You are an embarrassment': Miner Cleveland-Cliffs' CEO blasts financial analysts

(Adds details and background; Editor’s Note: paragraph 11 contains language that may offend some readers)

Oct 19 (Reuters) - Iron ore producer Cleveland-Cliffs Inc Chief Executive Officer Lourenco Goncalves slammed Wall Street financial analysts on Friday, saying some of them were an “embarrassment” and did not understand his company’s business.

Responding to a question by B. Riley analyst Lucas Pipes during the company’s quarterly earnings conference call, Goncalves blasted other analysts for what he called their inability to “read numbers.”

“You don’t understand our business, you don’t understand even your own business,” he said, referring to no one in particular. “You are a disaster. You are an embarrassment to your parents.”

Goncalves has spoken bluntly before to analysts. His Friday behavior came months after automaker Tesla Inc’s Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk snubbed Wall Street analysts, saying “boring, boneheaded questions are not cool”.

Musk later acknowledged that it was “foolish” of him to ignore the analysts on Tesla’s earnings conference call.

Goncalves’ rant came after the company’s shares gave up early gains on Friday. The stock tumbled 10 percent in afternoon trade, before trimming losses to end 4 percent lower.

The company reported third-quarter earnings from continuing operations of 64 cents per share. The result missed analysts’ average estimate of 66 cents, according to Refinitiv data.

Quarterly revenue, however, topped expectations as the company sold more iron pellets than a year earlier.

On the conference call, Goncalves suggested the company would buy back its shares if they continued to fall in value.

“If the stock continues to go down based on these kids that play with computers and somebody else’s money, we are going to buy back stock,” he said.

“We are going to screw these guys so badly that I don’t believe that they will be able to only resign. They will have to commit suicide ... You are messing with the wrong guy.”

Goncalves also called out Goldman Sachs analyst Matthew Korn: “You can run, but you can’t hide,” he said.

Goldman Sachs declined to comment when contacted by Reuters.

In 2014, Goncalves gave a similar performance, refusing to answer questions from Wells Fargo analyst Sam Dubinsky, saying: “you already knew everything about my company.”

“You have a $4 price target and you think we can’t sell assets, so I’m going to take the next question, I’m not going to answer you,” Goncalves had said at the time.

Cleveland-Cliffs did not respond to a request for comment. (Reporting by Arjun Panchadar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar)

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