Kick Back: The 10 biggest stories you might have missed on Stockhead this week
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This author is having visions of I, Robot (you know, the movie with Will Smith) after reading that a terminally ill scientist is uploading himself into the “world’s first full cyborg”.
Obviously this cyborg is more human-like than the robots in the movie, but it’s just as creepy.
Dr Peter Scott-Morgan, 61, was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 2017 and has decided to extend his life by becoming fully robotic, the Mirror reported.
His re-boot will be known as “Peter 2.0”.
This is what it will look like:
Here’s what you might have missed on Stockhead this week, but everyone else didn’t, and liked the most.
With all the kerfuffle about climate change, you’d think governments would be rolling out renewable energy much faster. But sadly, that isn’t the case. Experts expect it will be China that drives the only “marginal” global increase over the next 20 years.
“We see little economic rationale for new nuclear builds in the US or Western Europe, owing to massive cost escalations and renewables cost-competitiveness, which should lead to a material decline in nuclear generation in those countries by 2040,” S&P Global Ratings credit analyst Elena Anankina says.
But “developing” countries, such as China and Russia, continue to build new nuclear capacity, supported by government funding and significantly lower construction costs.
Nuclear still currently only accounts for 10 per cent of global power generation. The US remains the dominant generator with 97 gigawatts (GW) capacity across 97 reactors.
But China doubled its nuclear production between 2007 and 2017 and aims to become “the nuclear superpower in the near future”, says S&P.
We’re always up for a hot tip… and it appears our readers are too.
It is a battle to break into any market, but for small cap tech plays the US can be particularly challenging given the dominance of the so-called FAANG stocks (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google).
Two Aussie small caps that have succeeded in expanding into that market are LiveTiles (ASX:LVT), which makes AI software and has a notable partnership with Microsoft, and Tinybeans (ASX:TNY), which operates a social media platform intended for private use among family members to share their children’s growth.
Stockhead’s Nick Sundich spoke to the heads of both companies to get their take on the challenges they faced in trying to conquer the US market.
In mineral exploration and development, especially gold, there aren’t many sayings more ubiquitous than ‘grade is king’.
This well-worn proverb infers that higher grades are important above all else to the economics of a potential mining operation.
But not according to Sam Ulrich, director at Perth-based Aurum Analytics, who reckons gold grades “are not the be-all and end-all”.
“At the individual deposit level grade is king, but when comparing two or more deposits it is not,” he told Stockhead’s Reuben Adams.
“When you start comparing different mines – that’s when the idea can fall down.”
Just this week the WA government announced it was buying a bunch of drones to help police do their jobs and keep everyone safe.
With a laundry list of different use-cases, many investors are keeping an eye out for which applications in drone technology will stand out from the pack.
For Paul Hart and the team at Canary Capital, developments in the global market for commercial drones continue to be a trend of interest.
And in the ASX-listed space, Hart has pinpointed some sector-based stocks that fit the bill for his investment thesis.
It’s definitely a popular tech with so much market potential.
But let’s just hope they don’t evolve into this:
Our podcasts are proving popular with our audience, and the new Wildcatter podcast is clearly no exception.
In this latest episode, stock analysis veteran and lover of the oil and gas game, Peter Strachan, talks with former diplomat and oil and gas industry analyst John Campbell.
Tune in to hear Peter and John discuss a range of macro trends impacting the industry, from the big headwinds faced by the oil and gas sector, to OPEC’s oligopoly issues and the Australian energy small caps doing the most eyebrow-raising work.
We decided to revive this little beauty because of just how much our readers still want to know everything they possibly can about gold.
And with the Aussie dollar gold price still sitting above $2,000, it’s not surprising.
So for those who missed it the first time around, our gold primer is back for your reading pleasure.
It lists off everything you could possibly want to know, including this fun fact:
If you were to jam every single ounce of gold in the world together, the resulting cube of pure gold would only measure around 21m on each side.
Aptly named, our readers just love it when we point out a good small cap bargain!
We scoured the ASX for more little gems, just to keep you lot appeased.
What Stockhead’s newest recruit Bevis Yeo came up with was two junior explorers – one that has unearthed some interesting nickel results recently and another that is at an early stage of exploring its ground.
And they are….
Now that wouldn’t be much fun if I just told you, so you are just going to have to see for yourself which small cap explorers made it into our Bargain Barrel this week.
Hooray for free money! OK well not exactly free but it will give the rare earths industry in Oz a bit of a leg up.
As a sector, rare earths have a lot in their favour. Strong and growing demand. A dominant producer — China — with a bad habit of restricting supply, and a global political push to see new projects developed.
And now the federal government says Australian critical minerals projects are eligible for dual funding through Export Finance Australia (EFA) and the $5 billion Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF).
So just who is set to benefit from this? Skip on over and we’ll tell you.
Who didn’t love Kermit the Frog growing up? That was a rhetorical question BTW, everybody loves Kermit. But as he’s told kids for generations: “it’s not easy bein’ green”, and cannabis companies would agree right now.
On the ASX there are 35 “pot stocks”, or companies dabbling in cannabis in some form, whether it’s drug development, marketing, health and wellness products or pet supplements.
And more than 70 per cent have lost value so far in the 2020 financial year, a Stockhead analysis found.
The dire statistics fall against a wider backdrop of malaise in the global cannabis sector, which is being hit hard by supply issues, earnings disappointments and regulatory roadblocks.
According to PwC, an over-regulated environment is seeing an increasing number of listed companies think seriously about fleeing from the ASX.
And it’s a particularly tough situation for Aussie small caps who have even less time and money to waste on excessive red tape.
Apparently, there is too much short-termism in equity markets – what a surprise!
And this could be forcing companies to head back to the private realm.
Now that wouldn’t be good for investors… read exactly why here.
Have a great weekend!