SUNDAY ROAST: The small caps that lit a fire under Stockhead’s experts this week
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Garimpeiro has had a look during the week at the listed investment trust Lowell Resources Fund (LRT).
Lowell does not disclose the number of shares it holds in the 80 or stocks it is currently invested in, but in the case of Azure Minerals (ASX:AZS), there has been enough of them to ramp Azure’s representation to 12.8% of the $50 million fund as of June 30.
The runaway share price of Azure and some other lithium explorers held in the fund means lithium exposure accounted for 24% of the fund at June 30, up from 6.5% previously – go Azure.
He recently answered one of the biggest questions out there in the junior exploration market – what is the next sector to take off after the amazing run in lithium?
Writing for the Stockbrokers and Investment Advisers Association, Forwood nominated uranium, graphite and copper.
“The energy transition has driven the demand for lithium, but many other minerals are ‘critical’ to this transition.
It is virtually certain that as the world decarbonises, other minerals such as uranium, graphite or copper will see similar booms,” Forwood suggested.
CEO, Webull Australia
Rob Talevski lays down his top three China picks in these volatile times and about how a new era of online trading has opened up for Aussies the opportunity to engage in battle on one of the world’s more volatile equity stages.
“I believe BYD is well positioned to take advantage of global demand growth for EVs as governments across the world introduce stricter vehicle emission targets. BYD is currently second to Tesla globally for EV sales but dominated the EV market share for Mainland China throughout 2022 and 2023,” Rob says.
Over Q2, the worldwide sales of electric vehicles (EVs) has gone nuts, bulldozing past the 2.15 million unit mark.
“BYD are currently in the process of opening manufacturing plants in Southeast Asia, Europe and South America, which would give them a larger geographic manufacturing footprint than Tesla,” Talevski says.
“More importantly, BYD manufacture their own batteries for their EVs, unlike Tesla who ironically recently signed a deal for BYD to supply their batteries.”
The latest figures indicate an impressive 39.3% year-on-year increase in EV sales, according to TrendForce.
“Analyst ratings based on 26 analysts are 44% strong buy, 48% buy, and 8% recommending hold, with average price target of US$44.87. BYD is currently trading at US$28.21.”
“For those looking for a more traditional play with known western brands, investors should have a look at Mainland China’s operator of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell,” Talevski says.
“In addition, Yum China operates a multitude of other brands, including Lavazza coffee, which runs over 13,000 stores across the mainland.
“Despite the slowdown in economic growth, Yum China still plans to forge ahead with opening an additional 1300 stores throughout 2023 as it seeks to capitalise on a growing youth population that is hungry for western fast-food.
“Analyst ratings based on 27 analysts are 26% strong Buy, 59% buy, 7% hold and 7% recommending underperform with average price target of US$72.65. Yum China is currently trading at US$53.04.”
Baidu Inc is the Chinese language Internet search provider. It offers a Chinese language search platform on its Baidu.com website a la Google, but with Chinese state-backed characteristics.
“However, outside of its search engine, associated advertising revenue and cloud business, Baidu recently heavily invested in an AI and Autonomous Vehicle (intelligent driving) businesses, positioning it as a stock for the future,” Talevski says.
The business largely operates through two segments now, Baidu Core and iQIYI. Core mainly provides search-based, feed-based, and other online marketing services and AI initiatives, while iQIYI is an online entertainment service provider that offers original, partner-generated content on its platform.
“There are some valid concerns around political risk with the Chinese government’s recent crackdown on technology stocks,” Talevski notes, “however this could act as upside for Baidu as an already well-established listed entity – the policies are designed to act as a barrier to limit the number of tech companies listed on exchanges, therefore preventing new competitor challenges.”
“Analyst ratings based on 39 analysts are 31% strong buy, 56% buy and 11% recommending hold with an average price target of US$177.62. Baidu is currently trading at US$124.92.”
Executive Director, Peak Asset Management
Dagan says right now, he’s seeing investor flows into hard rock lithium as well as the biotech sector.
“Lithium brines, clays and other commodities are largely under-performing, relative to hard rock due to the large CAPEX requirements and ongoing demand profiles,” he says.
He says the biotech sector, while down ~4% in 2023 as a whole, is still optimistic on the back of 2023 market darling for the sector Neuren Pharmaceuticals (ASX:NEU).
In March, NEU announced that its North American partner Acadia Pharma received a historic US FDA approval of trofinetide, marketed as DAYBUE, making the drug the first and only approved treatment for Rett syndrome in the world.
He says the FDA instituting its Accelerated Approval Program to allow for earlier approval of drugs that treat serious conditions is also a boost to the healthcare sector.
One of Dagan’s top picks is Gold Mountain (ASX:GMN) , an explorer focused on ventures in Brazil and Papua New Guinea (PNG) with assets showing significant potential for various valuable metals, including lithium, copper and gold.
In June, GMN announced it had secured a 75% interest in a cluster of favourable lithium licences located within the new lithium hotspot of eastern Brazil.
“GMN has amassed an extensive large footprint in the lithium Valley of Brazil,” Dagan says.
In July GMN provided an update on its Brazil lithium projects with highlights including more than 250 pegmatites now known on the Logradouro tenements.
GMN says the Logradouro tenements were up to 16m of continuous outcrop and in two instances, the pegmatites may have been up to 55m and 60m wide with discontinuous outcrops.
Among its neighbours in Brazil is Latin Resources Limited (ASX:LRS) which has seen its market cap soar more than 250% this year with the company upgrading its mineral resource and identifying a new lithium corridor.
Solis Minerals (ASX:SLM) has also seen its share price soar after executing an option to acquire the Jaguar project in northeast Brazil and kicking off its maiden drill program in June.
“PEAK recently raised $2.25 million at $0.0075/share to fast track the company’s exploration activities and we are expecting results of 62+ assays over coming weeks from their recent field program,” Dagan says.
Onto health tech and Dagan says he was very excited to hear that Dimerix (ASX:DXB) has achieved a key milestone in its global Phase 3 Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) trial with the last patient of the first 72 patient cohort now randomised with a March 2024 date for interim outcome results.
DXB’s Phase 3 trial is titled Angiotensin II Type 1 Receptor (AT1R) & Chemokine Receptor 2 (CCR2) Targets for Inflammatory Nephrosis – or ACTION3 for short.
The pivotal multi-centre, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial is establishing the efficacy and safety of DXB’s lead drug DMX-200 in patients with FSGS who are receiving a stable dose of an angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB).
Total FSGS market size across the seven major markets is estimated to be more than US$3 billion by 2032, driven by ~220,000 FSGS sufferers in those areas and premium orphan drug pricing.
“We are extremely excited by the company’s final dosage of its 72nd patient, giving us a firm date for their PHASE 3 Interim Analysis results expected in Q1 CY24,” Dagan says.
“PEAK is the fourth largest shareholder and at ~$25m Enterprise Value, sees tremendous upside leading into trial results for its DMX-200.”
Sabre Resources (ASX:SBR) is focused on exploration and development of a highly prospective portfolio of nickel sulphide, lithium and gold assets in WA along with uranium and base metal prospects in the NT.
Its flagship Sherlock Bay nickel-copper-cobalt project is down the road from the Mark Creasy-backed Azure Minerals’ Andover discoveries in WA’s Pilbara.
“SBR has a large footprint in Andover, only ~30km away from AZS’s recent hits,” Dagan says.
The views, information, or opinions expressed in the interviews in this article are solely those of the interviewees and do not represent the views of Stockhead. Stockhead does not provide, endorse or otherwise assume responsibility for any financial product advice contained in this article.