by Surbhi Jain

May 17, 2024 10:11 AM | 3 min read

As the electrification revolution accelerates, lithium — a critical raw material for batteries — stands at the forefront of the energy transition. North American lithium miners Piedmont Lithium Inc (NASDAQ:PLL), Lithium Americas Corp (NYSE:LAC), and American Battery Technology Co (NASDAQ:ABAT) are strategically positioned to benefit from this surge in demand.

We look into recent insights from J.P. Morgan’s fireside chats with these companies to gauge their future prospects. Subsequently, we compare these stocks to determine which one offers greater upside potential.

Here’s a quick peek into the three companies’ key metrics before we dive in:

CompanyMarket Capitalization2023 Revenue (Annual)
Piedmont Lithium Inc (NASDAQ:PLL)$296.158M$39.82M
Lithium Americas Corp (NYSE:LAC)$983.780MPre-Revenue
American Battery Technology Co (NASDAQ:ABAT)$74.329MPre-Revenue

Piedmont Lithium – Bullish On Long-Term Demand

Piedmont Lithium remains bullish about the long-term demand for lithium, despite current market fluctuations.

CEO Keith Phillips is optimistic about North American Lithium’s (NAL) productivity trends, expecting improved efficiency and cost savings as shipments shift to North America. He sees Carolina Lithium as a key asset for the company, highlighting its ore body and low costs, and is seeking non-dilutive funding, including a DOE loan and partnerships.

Despite potential delays, Phillips remains optimistic about the timeline for the Ewoyaa Project in Ghana, aiming for full capacity by 2027.

Piedmont Lithium stock closed the trading day Thursday at $15.28, up 3.87%. The stock has a Buy consensus analyst rating. Recent analyst ratings on the stock have an average price target of $29.33 between BMO Capital, DA Davidson, and BTIG. That’s an implied 91.85% upside for Lithium Americas stock.

Lithium Americas – Advancing Thacker Pass

Lithium Americas is making significant strides in its Thacker Pass project in Nevada.

CEO Jon Evans and CFO Pablo Mercado are bullish about Lithium Americas’ (LAC) funding prospects, expressing confidence in closing the DOE loan on time. With $147 million in cash reserves and significant progress in engineering work, LAC is on track to meet its financial and operational targets.

They also highlight the company’s commitment to de-risking the chemical processing steps at Thacker Pass and optimizing efficiency. Cost management, particularly in reagent usage and procurement planning, is a key focus to enhance economic viability, crucial for long-term success.

Lithium Americas stock closed the trading day Thursday at $4.43, up 0.91%. Recent analyst ratings on the stock have an average price target of $6.53 between HSBC, Evercore ISI Group, and JP Morgan. That’s an implied 46.16% upside for Lithium Americas stock.

American Battery Technology – Leveraging Battery Recycling

American Battery Technology is uniquely positioned with its battery recycling business, which not only generates revenue but also funds future lithium resource development. This innovative approach provides a stable financial base while expanding its footprint in the lithium market.

American Battery stock is rated Outperform by analysts with a consensus price target of $6 a share. The stock closed the trading day Thursday at $1.33 a share, up 1.53%. This indicates an implied 344.44% upside.

Investment Takeaways

The surge in demand for lithium driven by the energy transition presents a significant opportunity for North American lithium miners such as Piedmont Lithium, Lithium Americas, and American Battery Technology.

Recent insights from J.P. Morgan’s fireside chats with these companies highlight their strategic positioning to capitalize on this trend. Investors looking to capitalize on the growing demand for lithium in the energy transition should carefully consider these companies’ prospects and potential upside.

Published by Benzinga