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December 27th, 2023 | 07:30 CET

Christmas Surprises: Nel, CureVac, SMA Solar, Altech Advanced Materials

  • Batteries
  • renewableenergies
  • Biotechnology
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Far from a peaceful Christmas season, these stocks had some exciting news just before Christmas Eve: While SMA Solar had to fend off a short attack, CureVac lost the first round in the patent dispute with BioNTech over the COVID-19 vaccine. CureVac claims a share of the billions in profits for itself. Will CureVac now walk away empty-handed? In contrast, Altech Advanced Materials can pop the corks before New Year's Eve. The Company has reached another milestone on the road to revolutionizing battery technology. The feasibility study promises millions in profits. Nel can look forward to special earnings as a fine is significantly lower than expected.

time to read: 3 minutes | Author: Fabian Lorenz
ISIN: SMA SOLAR TECHNOL.AG | DE000A0DJ6J9 , NEL ASA NK-_20 | NO0010081235 , CUREVAC N.V. O.N. | NL0015436031 , Altech Advanced Materials AG | DE000A31C3Y4

Table of contents:

    Altech Advanced Materials: Feasibility study convinces

    There is strong news from German battery innovator Altech Advanced Materials AG: The Company has successfully implemented a capital increase. Among other things, Altech is using this to finance the final purchase price installment for the Silumina Anodes project. The addition of metallurgical silicon coated with aluminum oxide is expected to make batteries significantly more powerful in the future. The pilot plant for the production of Silumina Anodes in Saxony is already nearing completion. Battery producers and e-car manufacturers will then be able to test the material. There are already several interested parties: Letters of intent for the supply of battery materials have already been signed with German and US car manufacturers and battery producers**.

    After the pilot plant, the main production plant with an annual production capacity of 8,000 tons of coated silicon will be built. The costs will amount to around EUR 112 million. The feasibility study published a few days ago confirms that the investment is worthwhile. According to the study, the average annual sales potential is EUR 328 million, and the EBITDA potential is EUR 105 million per year if the plant is fully utilized. The total pre-tax net present value (NPV) is EUR 684 million. What makes Silumina Anodes so interesting for electromobility? Its addition to lithium-ion batteries in previous tests has enabled at least a 30% higher energy density, thus enhancing the performance of the batteries. The service life and safety are also expected to be noticeably improved.

    Altech is also involved in a second and perhaps even more exciting project: This is the CERENERGY® sodium chloride solid state battery. The aim is to open up the market for stationary energy storage. The Altech battery, which consists of common salt, nickel and ceramics, does not require critical raw materials such as graphite, lithium and cobalt. In stationary operation, Altech sees a cost advantage of around 50% compared to lithium-ion batteries, taking into account total costs and daily charging cycles. A feasibility study is also currently being carried out for this.

    Nel: NOK 18.8 million special income

    Nel has had a stroke of luck. The Norwegians have to pay significantly less than expected for an incident in 2019. Looking back: At the time, there was an explosion at a hydrogen filling station near Oslo. It was operated by the company Uno-X Hydrogen, a joint venture between Uno-X, Nel and Praxair. In February 2021, a fine of NOK 25 million was imposed in this connection. Nel's share was NOK 20 million. However, this amount has now been significantly reduced. Accordingly, the amount due to Nel has been reduced to NOK 1.2 million. As the hydrogen specialist had already recognized provisions of NOK 20 million, one-off special proceeds of NOK 18.8 million will be recognized in the fourth quarter of 2023.

    CureVac: No billions in profits for now

    There is no reason for joy at CureVac. The biotech company has reported on the Federal Patent Court's ruling in the patent dispute with BioNTech. Accordingly, the Federal Patent Court has rejected the patent's validity in the nullity action brought by BioNTech SE against the German part of CureVac's patent EP 1 857 122 B1. CureVac intends to appeal against this judgment before the Federal Supreme Court. The ruling is the first decision on the validity of intellectual property rights in the ongoing patent dispute between CureVac and BioNTech in Germany. The dispute involves a total of eight intellectual property rights. The proceedings on the seven remaining intellectual property rights will be continued.

    Dr. Alexander Zehnder, CEO of CureVac: "We regret the decision of the patent court, especially in light of the court's positive preliminary assessment of EP 1 857 122 B1 earlier this year. This decision is just one of many that will be made regarding the use of CureVac's intellectual property in the development of Comirnaty®. We remain convinced that as pioneers of mRNA technology and through our ongoing innovation in this field, we have significantly contributed to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines. We will continue to defend our claim for recognition and fair compensation and will take appropriate action by appealing this decision."

    Even at Christmas time, the economy does not stand still. At CureVac, the patent dispute is the only hope for rising share prices. The development pipeline has so far been anything but successful. In contrast, Altech Advanced Materials is making progress step by step. The successful capital increase in a challenging market phase demonstrates the confidence of investors. And the feasibility study also reads very promisingly. The analysts' comments should follow in January. Nel can make good use of the special income on its path to break even, but it needs new major orders and a further reduction in losses for the share price to rise.

    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

    Fabian Lorenz

    For more than twenty years, the Cologne native has been intensively involved with the stock market, both professionally and privately. He is particularly passionate about national and international small and micro caps.

    About the author

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