Hedge fund bets on lithium miner after big electric vehicle win

Hedge fund bets on lithium miner after big electric vehicle win
Mining News Pro - Formidable Asset Management LLC, a hedge fund that bet on electric-vehicle maker Workhorse Group Inc., and battery maker Nano One Materials Corp. is now putting its money on a lithium mining company.

The Cincinnati-based fund sees Lithium Americas Corp. as a “differentiated operator” within the sector that has imminent production, a strategic location for some of its operations and undervalued assets, the fund wrote in a research report on Friday.

“Based on the valuation of its competitors (relative to their potential production/earnings) as well as recent prices paid for assets by its competitors, LAC’s current market cap is well below what we believe the value of its assets to be,” firm said in its report.

The estimated fair value for the stock is between $15 and $22, which is significantly higher than its Sept. 24 close of $7.18. The stock gained 19% in U.S. trading on Friday and closed at $8.54 with a market cap of about $771 million. Formidable didn’t specify the size of its position in the miner.

The hedge fund also noted that its fair value analysis excludes the potential for a higher share price if the market valued Lithium Americas as a battery company, as opposed to just a producer of the raw material.

“Even at ‘normal’ lithium prices, the company is being given almost no credit for its Thacker Pass opportunity, which has the potential to be twice as valuable as its Argentinian operation,” it said.

Formidable’s bet on electric-vehicle maker Workhorse Group earlier this year, helped the fund rally about 25% in June, beating the S&P 500. The main contributor to the fund’s June performance was its stake in Workhorse, according to a letter seen by Bloomberg. Workhorse surged 600% in the month of June, making it the second-best performing stock on the Nasdaq Composite Index. Since then, Workhorse has climbed another 43%.

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