August 21st, 2023 | 07:15 CEST
Meyer Burger, Saturn Oil + Gas, CureVac - Incisive events
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"[...] China's dominance is one of the reasons why we are so heavily involved in the tungsten market. Here, around 85% of production is in Chinese hands. [...]" Dr. Thomas Gutschlag, CEO, Deutsche Rohstoff AG
Meyer Burger - Goodbye Germany
Since 2006, VOX has been following Germans who want to try their luck abroad in the docu-soap "Goodbye Deutschland! Die Auswanderer". The show focuses on people who long for sun and sea or see no career prospects in "good old Germany." Due to the lack of future prospects, however, even large companies are now joining the trend, especially since the exploding energy costs. Meyer Burger, the only solar cell manufacturer in Europe, has announced its decision. The Swiss company is shifting its strategic focus from Europe to the US, at least for the time being.
This results from the unfavorable market conditions in Europe, characterized by unprotected competition with producers selling far below their production costs. Meyer Burger emphasized that more favorable production conditions exist in the US, while in Germany, they are under pressure from Chinese suppliers flooding the market with low-cost modules. In July, Meyer Burger announced that it would pause its planned expansion in Saxony-Anhalt and instead invest in Colorado, US.
Between the two, Swiss solar company Meyer Burger further consolidated its position in the first half of 2023, releasing sales figures showing a 70.8% YOY increase. However, price pressure from Chinese suppliers flooding the market with cheap modules made things difficult. Nevertheless, the Company managed to maintain stable sales prices in the first quarter - special effects due to impairments and credit notes depressed earnings by CHF 13.0 million. An increase in personnel and operating costs, particularly due to the start-up of new production lines, resulted in an operating loss of CHF 43.3 million. The net loss amounted to CHF 64.8 million, whereas liquidity stood at CHF 370 million and the equity ratio at 45.9%.
With the publication of the figures, the Meyer Burger share continued its months-long slide to CHF 0.406. Since mid-July, when a sales warning was announced, the stock has lost around 38%.
Saturn Oil + Gas - Records upon records
In complete contrast to the Swiss solar cell producer, the Canadian producer of light oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids, Saturn Oil & Gas, was able to report record results due to successfully completed acquisitions over the past two years. In this regard, the end of the second quarter marks a significant milestone following the complete integration of Ridgeback Resources.
YOY quarterly production increased to 25,988 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d), compared to 7,324 boe/d in the second quarter of 2022, while resulting quarterly revenue also reached record highs of CAD 176.0 million, compared to CAD 82.2 million in the year-ago quarter.
The Company, led by CEO John Jeffrey, achieved another record high with an adjusted cash flow of CAD 67.0 million, or CAD 0.48 per share. The comparable figure for the previous year of CAD 14.5 million was thus pulverized. At the same time, net operating income, net of derivatives, is a high CAD 41.87 per barrel of oil equivalent, while the benchmark WTI oil price for the period was USD 73.75.
Saturn's financial strength is also reflected in its consistent debt reduction. Repayments of a substantial CAD 51.5 million were made during the quarter, underscoring the Company's determination to maintain a strong balance sheet and proactively reduce financial obligations.
Canaccord Genuity analysts continue to see Saturn Oil as a speculative buy candidate following the quarterly results, which met their set forecasts and reiterated their price target of CAD 6.50. The current share price represents an upside potential of around 146%.
CureVac - Loss widened
Compared to its peer group, the vaccine manufacturer CureVac has clearly outperformed since the beginning of the year with a price increase of around 53% but bounced off its 200-day line at USD 10.14 due to weak half-year figures. The share is currently trading at USD 8.91. The chart picture would brighten if the downward trend at USD 9.96 formed at the end of June were overcome. In the south, however, the upward trend established since the beginning of the year at USD 7.61 is of importance.
The financial results for the first half of 2023 showed a mixed picture. While the Company's cash position increased from EUR 495.8 million at the end of 2022 to EUR 537.9 million in June 2023, mainly thanks to a capital increase in February, CureVac saw a marked decline in sales. Compared to the same period last year, revenues fell 62.2% in the second quarter and as much as 67.0% for the first half of 2022, mainly due to declining revenues from collaborations with GSK.
The operating loss, on the other hand, increased significantly from minus EUR 75.6 million to minus EUR 132.2 million compared to the same period last year, also due to increased research and development expenses in the areas of infectious diseases and oncology. In addition, patent disputes, in particular a lawsuit against Pfizer/BioNTech in Germany, had a negative impact.
Saturn Oil & Gas reported record second-quarter figures. In contrast, solar cell manufacturer Meyer Burger and biotech company CureVac both struggled with rising losses.
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