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April 11th, 2022 | 19:08 CEST

BASF, Meta Materials, Varta - A huge new market is emerging here!

  • Technology
  • metamaterials
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Science fiction or soon a reality? Metamaterials are artificial materials with specific optical, magnetic or electrical properties that do not exist in nature. These tiny innovative materials can be used in a wide variety of ways. A well-known example is stealth technology. Metamaterials can change the refractive index of light and thus guide the light around an object. The industry is still some way from mass production, but experts estimate that will soon change. As early as 2030, the market is expected to be worth USD 11 billion, with a strong upward trend.

time to read: 3 minutes | Author: Carsten Mainitz
ISIN: BASF SE NA O.N. | DE000BASF111 , Meta Materials Inc. | US59134N1046 , VARTA AG O.N. | DE000A0TGJ55

Table of contents:

    BASF - Way out in front

    The European Patent Office (EPO) has recorded a record number of patent applications in 2021. "This underlines the creativity and resilience of inventors in Europe and worldwide," said EPO President António Campinos. With 25,969 applications, Germany ranks second worldwide behind the US with 46,533. Siemens is the national leader with 1,720 applications, while BASF brought it to 11th place with 1,284 applications, making BASF the global number one in the chemical industry. The Ludwigshafen-based company invests more than 2 billion annually in research and development.

    To advance the Materials division, which is one of six segments of the broad-based group, the Ludwigshafen-based company entered into a research collaboration known as the North American Center for Research on Advanced Materials (NORA) 10 years ago. The research initiative was founded by BASF, Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the University of Massachusetts (UMass) Amherst.

    In recent years, NORA's agenda has included research into new applications in chemical catalysis and materials for biological systems, as well as gaining knowledge about physical interactions in advanced and completely new materials such as metamaterials.

    The stock has come under pressure due to increasing supply risk due to the Ukraine war. However, the majority of analysts rate the shares as a buy and believe the stock has an upside potential of a good 30%.

    Meta Materials - Pioneer

    The Canadian company Meta Materials has set itself the goal of producing metamaterials in series production. To this end, the Company has built up an extensive portfolio of patents and strengthened itself through acquisitions. The reward is the award as "Lux Research Innovator of the Year 2021". The NASDAQ-listed company has 269 active utility and design patent documents, including six design patent applications; 163 utility patents have issued. Our utility patent documents are in 74 patent families, of which 47 include at least one issued patent.

    Meta Materials' product portfolio can be divided into three areas: holography, lithography and wireless sensing with strong IT networking and artificial intelligence (AI) embedding. The developer of high-performance functional materials and nanocomposites produces special coatings capable of redirecting light, sound, heat or radio waves using specialized nanotechnology. The materials are also suitable, for example, for significantly improving 5G mobile phone reception. Security technology is also a growth area.

    Recently, the Canadians acquired the British company Plasma App for USD 20 million in shares. Plasma App has developed PLASMAfusion, a production platform technology that enables high-speed coating of solid materials on any type of substrate. Meta Materials intends to apply this technology to nanoweb films and security films. It will significantly increase speed and output.

    Most recently, the Company was able to report another new order. Its subsidiary Nanotech Security Corp. has received orders from an undisclosed central bank totaling USD 2.2 million. According to the framework agreement, the total volume could rise to USD 41.5 million over the next 5 years. After a significant correction, the share is worth looking at, with a current market capitalization of around USD 440 million.

    Varta - Competitive pressure is increasing

    Varta is the technology leader in so-called micro-batteries, such as those used in wireless headphones. The communication of the targets for the current fiscal year were awaited with great excitement. Reactions to both the figures for the past fiscal year and the forecast were mixed. Stifel put its finger in the wound. Analyst Florian Pfeilschifter rated the figures as "rather disappointing". In addition, he saw the low profitability targets for 2022 as evidence of increasing price pressure in the micro battery business. The expert lowered the price target to EUR 74 and confirmed the "Sell" recommendation.

    The group held out the prospect of sales of EUR 950 million to EUR 1 billion in 2022. Adjusted EBITDA is expected to be between EUR 260 million and EUR 280 million. Concerning the future field of e-mobility, the Company confirmed that it was fully on track with regard to the pilot production of ultra-high-performance lithium-ion round cells at the Ellwangen site. Negotiations with new customers are currently underway, and demand is high.

    Innovations can trigger technological revolutions, and metamaterials have great potential to belong to this group. BASF, the world's most innovative chemical company, is also playing its part. Meta Materials is a pioneer and has a clear competitive edge with its extensive patent portfolio. Analysts believe that the share can multiply after the price correction.

    Conflict of interest

    Pursuant to §85 of the German Securities Trading Act (WpHG), we point out that Apaton Finance GmbH as well as partners, authors or employees of Apaton Finance GmbH (hereinafter referred to as "Relevant Persons") may hold shares or other financial instruments of the aforementioned companies in the future or may bet on rising or falling prices and thus a conflict of interest may arise in the future. The Relevant Persons reserve the right to buy or sell shares or other financial instruments of the Company at any time (hereinafter each a "Transaction"). Transactions may, under certain circumstances, influence the respective price of the shares or other financial instruments of the Company.

    In addition, Apaton Finance GmbH is active in the context of the preparation and publication of the reporting in paid contractual relationships.

    For this reason, there is a concrete conflict of interest.

    The above information on existing conflicts of interest applies to all types and forms of publication used by Apaton Finance GmbH for publications on companies.

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    Der Autor

    Carsten Mainitz

    The native Rhineland-Palatinate has been a passionate market participant for more than 25 years. After studying business administration in Mannheim, he worked as a journalist, in equity sales and many years in equity research.

    About the author

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