April 3rd, 2023 | 16:01 CEST
Positive signs - Nordex, Meta Materials, SMA Solar
Table of contents:
SMA Solar - Optimistic for the rest of the year
With a new all-time high and a weekly performance of over 30%, the manufacturer of inverters for photovoltaic systems was the high flyer on the German stock exchange. The reason for this was clearly optimistic tones from the management and an increase in the forecast for the current year.
SMA Solar now expects sales of between EUR 1.45 and 1.6 billion. Operating earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization are expected to reach EUR 135 to 175 million, about EUR 35 million more than the estimate recently issued by CEO Jürgen Reinert. The reason for the optimism is the improvement in delivery capacity, and production output is also much stronger than in the same period last year.
For the first quarter of 2023, estimates are for sales between EUR 340 million and EUR 350 million. Ebitda is expected to be between EUR 50 million and EUR 60 million. In the first quarter of 2022, revenues remained at EUR 221 million with an Ebitda of EUR 15 million. The fact that CEO Jürgen Reinert continues to be in a positive mood is shown by the fact that he acquired shares with an equivalent value of EUR 59,848.50 on 29 March 2023. The average price here was still EUR 81.98. The SMA Solar share is currently trading at EUR 98.95.
Meta Materials - Favourable entry opportunity
The example of the innovative Nasdaq stock Meta Materials shows that growth stocks are subject to high fluctuations. While the highest price in June of 2021 was still USD 21.76, the value marked a new all-time low of USD 0.41 in the last stock market week. Nevertheless, the developer of sustainable, highly functional materials is a hot rebound candidate and could start a new upward movement with further successes in development.
Meta Materials' technology has numerous potential applications in industries such as 5G communications, health and wellness, aerospace, automotive and renewable energy. The Company has a clear competitive edge with 410 active patent documents, including 251 patents already granted and 159 patent applications still pending. The fact that Meta Materials is still investing heavily in research and development was evident in the recently published annual figures. Sales increased by 150% to USD 10.2 million, but the net loss increased to USD 79.1 million or minus USD 0.24 per share. The cash balance as of 31 December 2022 was only USD 11.80 million. Due to this, the Company is conducting an at-the-market financing of up to USD 100 million, which should currently depress the share price.
On the other hand, the expected spin-off of the subsidiary Next Bridge Hydrocarbons and a development agreement for NPORE battery separator materials with a global top 10 battery OEM provide fantasy. This is a free-standing, flexible separator made from a ceramic nanomaterial that offers unique dimensional stability with less than 1% thermal shrinkage at temperatures up to 220 degrees Celsius to prevent thermal runaway of the battery. Conventional plastic separators shrink significantly at high temperatures, which can lead to thermal failure. Meta Materials has succeeded in customizing the separator's properties by changing its thickness, porosity and pore size.
In addition to the NPORE metamaterial separators, Meta Materials is developing NCORE current collectors for greater safety, efficiency and sustainability. Manufactured using proprietary PLASMAfusion vacuum separation technology, NCORE uses up to 96% less copper material and is thinner compared to solid copper foils, with a fusible link-like feature for improved safety. The reduced weight and thickness can increase energy density and vehicle range, while the lower copper content makes battery production and recycling more sustainable. META markets NCORE in collaboration with DuPont Teijin Films and Mitsubishi Electric Europe.
Nordex - Further disappointment
While SMA Solar was able to raise its outlook significantly, wind turbine manufacturer Nordex disappointed once again. The Hamburg-based company announced that an operating loss could not be ruled out for 2023. In addition, revenues are expected to range between EUR 5.6 billion and EUR 6.1 billion. The Ebitda margin fluctuates between minus 2.0% and plus 3.0%. Last year, this key figure, which is of fundamental importance to Nordex, fell to minus 4.3%. Ebitda came to minus EUR 244.3 million last year.
By contrast, the stock market received the new initiatives in the green hydrogen segment positively. Nordex's core business is being extended through the entry into two strategic joint ventures, which focus on the production of electrolyzers (Nordex Electrolyzers) and the development of large green hydrogen projects (Acciona-Nordex H2 SL). Nordex Group CEO José Luis Blanco explains that the Nordex Group is an early mover in the hydrogen value chain while continuing its strategy of maintaining a low risk profile. Thanks to its many years of expertise in project development in the wind sector, the Nordex Group already has promising green hydrogen projects in the United States and Latin America.
The Acciona-Nordex joint venture plans to develop projects with a targeted development pipeline of 50 GW, capable of producing 0.5 million tonnes of green hydrogen per year over the next ten years. The goal is to have projects ready for construction by 2027. The second joint venture, Nordex Electrolyzers, aims to use proprietary technology to develop, produce and market electrolyzers. Experts believe that demand for electrolyzers will rise to 400 GW by 2030, although current capacity is still very limited.
US investment bank Goldman Sachs left its rating on Nordex at "neutral" with a price target of EUR 14.70 after the figures.
SMA Solar was celebrated for raising its outlook for the full year 2023. In contrast, Nordex disappointed with its forecasts for the current year but was able to announce two promising future projects. Meta Materials has announced a significant cooperation with a global top 10 battery OEM.
Conflict of interest
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