August 2nd, 2022 | 12:04 CEST
New opportunities at Aspermont, Palantir and Rheinmetall
Table of contents:
Aspermont with significant reserves
The growth story of the Australian digital publishing company continues unabated, but the transformation is not yet reflected on the stock exchange. For months, Aspermont's share price has been stagnating at AUD 0.019, and the market capitalization of the leading media service provider for the commodities industry is AUD 46.15 million. Yet there has been no lack of positive momentum in recent months.
With the better-than-expected forecasts for the 2nd quarter, Aspermont once again exceeded its self-set forecasts. Compared to the second quarter of the previous year, total sales increased by 39% to EUR 3.21 million, while gross profit climbed by 43% to EUR 2.08 million. The increase in the gross margin to currently 65% should be emphasized. The services sector increased disproportionately by 72% due to the resumption of live events.
A significant kicker and rising revenues should come from the financing platform that has been launched. "Blu Horseshoe" is the transaction platform developed as a first step to raising capital for professional investors in the ASX market. In addition to Aspermont, the partner's Spark Plus and International Pacific Capital also hold a 44% stake in the joint venture. From a strategic perspective, the platform is likely to be used as a proof-of-concept for the mining sector, with a view to rolling it out to other sectors and countries. Current data shows that the market for secondaries in Australia has potential. In 2021 alone, companies used this form of financing to raise around AUD 60 billion on the capital market. Thanks to its long history of trusting cooperation with market participants and a database of around 8 million contacts built up over decades, Aspermont should be able to get more than just a slice of the placement pie.
Pessimistic forecasts, optimistic analysts at Rheinmetall
The hype surrounding Rheinmetall shares, which more than doubled after the outbreak of the Ukraine conflict, has faded somewhat. After the German government planned a special fund of EUR 100 billion for investments and armament projects in the German Armed Forces at the end of February, it was strongly assumed that the Düsseldorf-based Company would receive a lion's share of this money. That would result in a special boom for the local armaments industry. In March, the management of the MDAX member took this as an opportunity to unceremoniously adjust its forecasts for the current fiscal year.
Annual sales in the Rheinmetall Group should grow organically by 15% to 20% in the current fiscal year. This growth forecast is based on the assumption that the German government's plans for possible procurement from the defense budget for 2022 and the special assets created for the Bundeswehr will materialize as announced. Based on this current sales forecast, Rheinmetall expects an improvement in operating profit and an operating return on sales of over 11% for the Group in the current fiscal year 2022, including holding costs, compared with 10.5% last year.
However, more pessimistic voices were now coming out of the Rheinmetall Platz1 office. However, it is not so much the armaments division to blame but rather the gloomier outlook for global car production that has the automotive supplier making more cautious assumptions. According to a statement, the Company now expects sales to grow by around 15%, which is at the lower end of the forecast adjustment.
Despite the negative news, various analyst firms renewed their buy recommendations. Berenberg has left its rating for Rheinmetall at "buy" with a price target of EUR 240 after a lowered sales target, while Goldman Sachs, UBS and Warburg Research also see the stock as a buy candidate. Nevertheless, we advise caution with regard to a possible purchase. From a chart perspective, the stock continues to be battered.
Increase in Palantir
Analysts are also optimistic about the performance of data analysis specialist Palantir. Thus, the investment house Raymond James initiated coverage for the growth company and upgraded the stock to a "strong buy" with a price target of USD 20. From a chart perspective, the Denver-based company is also on the verge of a significant buy signal. At USD 10.35, the share price is close to the downward trend it has been following since the end of January. A sustained break above the USD 10.78 mark would generate a price potential up to the annual high of USD 14.86.
Fundamentally, Palantir can also land attractive orders. None other than the US Army Research Laboratory has extended its existing contract with Palantir Technologies by two years. The software company first partnered with the Army Research Lab in 2018, providing deployed forces with state-of-the-art operational data and AI capabilities. The Company will continue to implement artificial intelligence and machine learning data and capabilities for users across all commands of the armed forces. The contract has a volume of USD 100.00 million. August 8 should be exciting for Palantir. The figures for the second quarter will be published then.
Technology stocks could start a countermovement after significant price corrections in recent months. Aspermont has enormous potential with the launched placement platform "Blu Horseshoe", and the starting position at Palantir is similar. Rheinmetall, on the other hand, should be treated with caution.
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