“You are a disaster. You are an embarrassment to your parents,” he said in response to a seemingly benign question about a new dividend and plans to buy back stock.
Goncalves didn’t stop there. He suggested that the company would buy back stock to counteract bearish analysts and traders. He referred to them as “kids that play with computers and somebody else’s money.”
He said he hopes the buybacks hurt those analysts — a lot.
“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. So we are going to screw these guys so badly, that it will be fun to watch,” he said. “You are messing with the wrong guy.”
Goncalves made the remarks about short sellers during the first question on the call. He might have been testy because the stock was down about 6% after reporting earnings that slightly missed forecasts. Shares are still up nearly 50% this year.
Speaking on CNBC Friday afternoon, Goncalves said he had no regrets about the call and even seemed to relish in the fact that Cleveland-Cliffs was getting as much attention as high-profile companies like Tesla, Amazon and Facebook — at least for one day.
Goncalves also singled out Goldman Sachs analyst Matthew Korn on the call, challenging him to “ask a freaking question.”
As the conference call was about to end without a question from Korn, Goncalves said of Korn, “You can run, but you can’t hide. I will see you at the Goldman Sachs conference very soon.”
He said Korn should bring a coworker with him to the conference because Goncalves would “take care of him,” and “it will be a lot worse if you are alone.”
“The problem with time is that the clock doesn’t stop,” Goncalves threatened.
A spokesperson for Cleveland-Cliffs said Goncalves wasn’t threatening Korn, but was telling the analyst to bring the Goldman Sachs commodities desk people to an upcoming conference.
Goldman Sachs and Korn declined to comment. It’s also not clear why Goncalves was specifically so angry at Korn.
Although Korn has a “neutral” rating on the stock, he praised the company in a report after the earnings were released, saying the dividend payment was likely “to be the major takeaway from the quarter” and that he expected “the stock to outperform as a result.”