December 1st, 2021 | 11:12 CET
The battery solution: IBU-tec, Meta Materials, BASF - Materials that dreams are made of!
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Born in Munich, he first studied economics and graduated in business administration at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in 1995. As he was involved with the stock market at a very early stage, he now has more than 30 years of experience in the capital markets.
IBU-tec - Now producing its own battery material
IBU-tec advanced materials AG supplies specialty chemical products for use in cathodes of LFP battery cells. The Weimar-based Company is one of the few in Germany to specialize in this segment. For IBU-tec, there is now great news on the legal side. Because after the expiration of an international patent, the production of their own LFP battery material can be started.
In the future, the relevant product will be offered on the market under the name LFP 400. The application areas are diverse and range from use for batteries in e-cars, stationary energy storage, industrial trucks and boat motors to industrial and medical applications. Since the beginning of the year, IBU-tec has already been experiencing high demand for its mixture. The Weimar-based Company has secured additional raw material volumes and further expanded its capacities to boost sales in the coming year. Strategically, the Company was able to agree on a cooperation with an Asian global player in the cathode sector even before the official sales launch of the product. In addition, IBU-tec also concluded a letter of intent with the European cathode manufacturer Blackstone Technology.
Within the "IBU2025" strategy framework, IBU-tec's battery material will be a key sales and growth driver in the coming years, and sales could even increase tenfold by 2025, ultimately accounting for 25 to 30% of consolidated sales. For the full year, IBU-tec expects sales of between EUR 37 and 39 million, which it aims to increase to EUR 80 to 100 million by 2025 according to current expectations. The share is certainly worth a look again after the minor correction in the EUR 37 to 41 range.
Meta Materials - First confusion, then the numbers
It is sometimes amusing on the stock exchange. When Facebook recently changed the name of its listed parent company to Meta Platforms, Meta Materials saw its share price jump on several days, especially in Germany. Many investors simply misread the situation. Perhaps this is also a sign that new market participants are now trading in shares and have yet to gain experience with the various quotations, instruments and abbreviations. There was also a tripling of active shareholders in this country in 2000, whatever that means here.
In any case, the original Company Meta Materials (META®) is known as an expert in the field of high-tech materials. The Nova Scotia-based company produces a range of highly functional materials and nanocomposites for various high-tech applications. In this context, the Company's proprietary technology platform encompasses three core competencies: holography, lithography and wireless sensing with strong IT networking and artificial intelligence (AI) embedding.
META® has now announced results for the first nine months of 2021. Total revenues increased 111% to USD 1.79 million from USD 0.85 million in the first nine months of 2020, and net loss was USD 11.4 million, or USD 0.04 per share, due to high capital expenditures in Q3. Net cash used in operating activities reached USD 15.6 million after nine months, up from USD 5.9 million previously.
The Company still has high liquidity of USD 140.8 million; this is a sound basis for the upcoming expansion of the product portfolio. Part of this, namely USD 72.1 million, has now been used to acquire Nanotech Security Corp., which has again broadened the performance platform by quite a bit. With the nano-optical technology, one offers security features to protect against counterfeiting for government documents and currencies and authentication for brands.
The figures presented show a good growth trend. Even though breakeven is still a few quarters away, META® is already showing excellent sales success. The share has recently lost some ground, but the market capitalization is still a reasonable USD 980 million. In the currently very volatile environment, there are good entry points for speculative investors.
BASF - A huge step towards climate protection
In Germany, anyone investing in industrial raw materials will not be able to avoid BASF. The Company has its origins in the Badische Anilin- & Soda-Fabrik, founded in Mannheim in 1865, and today, its headquarters are in Ludwigshafen. BASF employs more than 110,000 people worldwide and operates at 390 production sites. With sales estimated at EUR 77 billion in 2021, BASF is the world's largest chemical company.
Especially in the context of sustainably produced industrial goods, BASF's precursors are of great importance. Within battery technology, the production plants for cathode materials in Scandinavia and Brandenburg aim to offer all precursors a positive sustainability balance from 2022. OEMs have to operate sustainably by carefully selecting their suppliers on the one hand, and on the other hand, they want to reduce their CO2 footprint.
The Ludwigshafen-based Company has now taken a significant step toward climate protection in its energy supply. The chemicals group has secured the French Company Engie SA as a long-term renewable electricity supplier to reduce CO2 emissions in chemical production. Under the 25-year power purchase agreement, which comes into force on January 1, 2022, Engie will supply BASF with a total of up to 20.7 terawatt-hours of renewable electricity during the contract period. As a chemical company, BASF is one of the most energy-intensive companies in Germany. Well, if that is not news worthy for the green round in Berlin.
BASF shares came under greater pressure in the current DAX correction and eliminated all gains from 2021. With a price of EUR 57.8, the chemical giant is back at the level of mid-2020. The main reason for the devaluation is probably the increase in the cost of precursors, which BASF can only partially pass on to its customers. The chart does not look good, so only watch for the time being, but those looking for high dividends will find what they are looking for here at 5.3%.
The hype topics e-mobility and climate protection are driving the protagonists on the course to ever-new highs. Last week, however, a small profit-taking round began. The new COVID variant Omicron was taken as an opportunity to let out a little air. It will catch up again, so one should keep an eye on good titles such as IBU-tec, BASF and Meta Materials.
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