In this article, we discuss 10 lithium stocks billionaires are loading up on. If you want to see more stocks in this selection, check out 5 Lithium Stocks Billionaires Are Loading Up On.
The global lithium market, valued at approximately $7 billion in 2022, is anticipated to expand significantly and reach $22.6 billion by 2030. This growth is expected to occur at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.7% during the period from 2022 to 2030. Lithium has become increasingly popular in various industries due to the automotive industry's shift towards e-mobility. It is now being widely utilized in battery technology, chemical manufacturing, ceramics, glass, lubricants, and polymers.
Before the mid-2010s, the energy sector had a relatively small impact on overall demand for most minerals. However, as the transition towards clean energy gains momentum, the demand for clean energy technologies is experiencing rapid growth. According to the International Energy Agency's Sustainable Development Scenario (SDS) that aligns with the goals of the Paris Agreement, the share of total demand for various minerals is expected to increase significantly over the next two decades. This includes a rise of nearly 90% for lithium. Electric vehicles and battery storage systems have already surpassed consumer electronics to become the largest consumers of lithium. As per the International Energy Agency, lithium raw material is predicted to have an excess supply in the near future. However, there may be a potential shortage of lithium chemicals in the coming years. When considering a longer-term perspective aligned with climate objectives, it is projected that the anticipated supply from current mines and ongoing construction projects will only fulfill around half of the expected demand for lithium requirements by 2030.
The global demand for lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles has increased significantly, making Chile's lithium-containing salt flats a valuable resource. However, as per a CNBC report on May 6, Chile has lost market share to Australia, which became the largest producer of lithium in 2017. Argentina is also gaining traction due to increased international investment. To address this, Chile's president, Gabriel Boric, recently announced a state-led plan to develop the country's lithium industry, requiring private companies to collaborate with the government for future mines. Consequently, the only two lithium companies operating in Chile, Albemarle Corporation (NYSE:ALB) and Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile S.A. (NYSE:SQM), experienced a decline in stock prices following concerns about increased government control over future projects.
Significant developments are taking place in the lithium market. The demand for lithium is expected to increase dramatically in the coming years, going from 500,000 metric tons of lithium carbonate in 2021 to 3-4 million metric tons by 2030. CNBC recently reported that Albemarle Corporation (NYSE:ALB), the leading global producer of lithium, has plans to open another lithium mine in North Carolina and is constructing a processing facility in South Carolina to support the production of battery-grade lithium hydroxide. However, Albemarle Corporation (NYSE:ALB) faces obstacles such as a potential economic downturn affecting EV demand, the emergence of new battery chemistries that may reduce the need for lithium, battery recycling efforts, and competition from other companies. Notably, Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) has begun the construction of its own lithium refinery in Texas in 2023.
Billionaires, constantly seeking lucrative prospects, are actively investing in companies such as Albemarle Corporation (NYSE:ALB), Rio Tinto Group (NYSE:RIO), and Livent Corporation (NYSE:LTHM) to capitalize on the thriving lithium industry. Investors can also check out 10 Undervalued Lithium Stocks to Buy Now and 12 Best Lithium and Battery Stocks to Buy.
Insider Monkey tracks billionaire-owned stocks and in this article, we selected the lithium stocks that attracted the highest number of billionaire investors during the first quarter of 2023. We have also mentioned the overall hedge fund sentiment towards each stock as of Q1 2023. While most companies in our list are pure-play lithium stocks, some are manufacturers of lithium-ion batteries.
Lithium Stocks Billionaires Are Loading Up On
10. Sigma Lithium Corporation (NASDAQ:SGML)
Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 14
Number of Billionaire Investors: 3
Sigma Lithium Corporation (NASDAQ:SGML) focuses on exploring and developing lithium deposits in Brazil. The company has full ownership of several properties, including Grota do Cirilo, where environmentally sustainable mining operations are carried out. It is one of the popular lithium stocks among billionaires. In Q1 2023, billionaire Steve Cohen’s Point72 Asset Management added Sigma Lithium Corporation (NASDAQ:SGML) to its portfolio by purchasing 462,308 shares worth $17.4 million.
Sigma Lithium Corporation (NASDAQ:SGML) made an announcement on April 17 regarding the successful achievement of its first production of Green Lithium battery-grade sustainable lithium concentrate. The initial production runs have already reached 75% of the intended throughput capacity. Sigma Lithium anticipates the first shipment of 15,000 metric tons of Green Lithium to be made by May 2023, with full production capacity expected to be reached by July.
According to Insider Monkey’s first quarter database, 14 hedge funds were bullish on Sigma Lithium Corporation (NASDAQ:SGML), compared to 11 funds in the prior quarter.
In addition to Albemarle Corporation (NYSE:ALB), Rio Tinto Group (NYSE:RIO), and Livent Corporation (NYSE:LTHM), Sigma Lithium Corporation (NASDAQ:SGML) is one of the top lithium stocks preferred by billionaires.
9. Lithium Americas Corp. (NYSE:LAC)
Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 14
Number of Billionaire Investors: 3
Lithium Americas Corp. (NYSE:LAC) is a resource company focused on the exploration and development of lithium deposits. The company primarily operates in the United States and South America, with a particular emphasis on Argentina and Nevada. In the first quarter of 2023, 3 billionaires were bullish on Lithium Americas Corp. (NYSE:LAC), including Steve Cohen of Point72 Asset Management. Cohen held 680,153 shares of the company worth $14.80 million.
On April 20, Deutsche Bank maintained a Buy rating on Lithium Americas Corp. (NYSE:LAC) but revised down the price target for the shares from $30 to $26. According to the firm’s research note, there is a possibility of reaching a bottom in lithium prices in the later part of the second quarter, which could create a more favorable environment for the company in the latter half of 2023. The firm's projections for battery grade lithium carbonate have decreased by 10% for both 2023 and 2024.
According to Insider Monkey’s first quarter database, 14 hedge funds were bullish on Lithium Americas Corp. (NYSE:LAC), with combined stakes worth $47.7 million.
Massif Capital made the following comment about Lithium Americas Corp. (NYSE:LAC) in its Q1 2023 investor letter:
“During the first quarter, Lithium Americas Corp. (NYSE:LAC) had several positive events, including a favorable record of decision ruling for Thacker Pass, paving the way for construction of the mine to start, a revised Thacker resource/cost estimates, and GM’s financing/offtake agreement. Even though LAC is non-producing and its stock is down 34% over the past year (compared to the larger lithium producer’s 3%), the stock remains one of our favorites with multiple catalysts (and still up roughly 600% from our initial purchase price):
As Cauchari-Olaroz in Argentina and Thacker Pass come online, volumes will effectively be marked at leading-edge pricing. As such, it seems prudent to continue underwriting growth, especially given the firm’s experienced management team with a visible pipeline to incremental supply before 2025. These qualities make one or both post-separation entities attractive buyout targets for numerous suitors…” (Please click here to read the full text)
8. QuantumScape Corporation (NYSE:QS)
Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 15
Number of Billionaire Investors: 4
QuantumScape Corporation (NYSE:QS) is an emerging company that is primarily dedicated to the advancement and commercialization of solid-state lithium-metal batteries. These batteries are specifically designed for use in electric vehicles, among other applications. During the first quarter of 2023, the stock of QuantumScape Corporation (NYSE:QS) was held by 4 billionaires.
On April 28, Deutsche Bank analyst Emmanuel Rosner maintained a Hold rating on QuantumScape Corporation (NYSE:QS) and reduced the firm's price target on the shares to $8 from $10. Rosner mentioned that QuantumScape is progressing as planned towards its goals for 2023, including the introduction of its first commercial product.
According to Insider Monkey’s first quarter database, 15 hedge funds were bullish on QuantumScape Corporation (NYSE:QS), compared to 21 funds in the last quarter. Billionaire Philippe Laffont’s Coatue Management held the largest stake in the company, with 1.40 million shares worth $11.5 million.
Baron Opportunity Fund mentioned QuantumScape Corporation (NYSE:QS) in its Q4 2020 investor letter. Here is what the fund said:
“QuantumScape Corporation is developing solid-state battery technology for electric vehicles designed to improve key aspects of the battery, including safety, charging times, energy density, and cost. We believe the company’s existing material development and manufacturing techniques can help overcome solid state technological and commercialization hurdles. During the quarter, we participated in the merger between QuantumScape and SPAC Kensington Capital. Shares have since appreciated, driven by investor excitement for the growth opportunities the company may capture with its innovative battery technology.”
7. Li-Cycle Holdings Corp. (NYSE:LICY)
Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 12
Number of Billionaire Investors: 5
Li-Cycle Holdings Corp. (NYSE:LICY) specializes in the recovery and recycling of lithium-ion batteries. The company offers a range of battery materials, including lithium, nickel, cobalt, graphite, copper, and aluminum. Additionally, Li-Cycle Holdings Corp. (NYSE:LICY) provides hub products like lithium carbonate, cobalt sulfate, nickel sulfate, and manganese carbonate to support the battery industry. It is one of the top lithium stocks on the radar of billionaires.
On May 9, Li-Cycle Holdings Corp. (NYSE:LICY) and Glencore International AG announced a partnership to collaboratively assess the viability and subsequently establish a hub facility in Portovesme, Italy. The proposed Portovesme Hub aims to manufacture essential battery materials like nickel, cobalt, and lithium derived from recycled battery materials.
Matthew O'Keefe, an analyst from Cantor Fitzgerald, began coverage of Li-Cycle Holdings Corp. (NYSE:LICY) with a Buy rating and a price target of $8.50. Li-Cycle Holdings Corp. (NYSE:LICY) is effectively completing the cycle in the battery supply chain by utilizing a proven and patented process. The firm believes that the company has the potential for significant growth due to its established commercial partnerships.
According to Insider Monkey’s first quarter database, 12 hedge funds were bullish on Li-Cycle Holdings Corp. (NYSE:LICY), compared to 14 funds in the prior quarter. Billionaire Louis Bacon’s Moore Global Investments is a prominent stakeholder of the company, with a position worth $3.7 million.
6. Piedmont Lithium Inc. (NASDAQ:PLL)
Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 13
Number of Billionaire Investors: 6
Piedmont Lithium Inc. (NASDAQ:PLL) is a development stage company that focuses on exploring and developing resource projects within the United States. The company is involved in the lithium mining industry. In the first quarter of 2023, Piedmont Lithium Inc. (NASDAQ:PLL) was on the radar of 6 billionaire investors.
On April 21, Roth MKM analyst Joe Reagor increased the price target on Piedmont Lithium Inc. (NASDAQ:PLL) from $150 to $190 while maintaining a Buy rating on the shares. According to the analyst, the results of Piedmont Lithium Inc. (NASDAQ:PLL)’s Definitive Feasibility Study for its Tennessee Lithium Project demonstrated strong economic viability. Although there were higher capital and operating costs compared to a prior Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA), these were offset by higher pricing. Roth MKM believes that the stock's current market value does not accurately reflect the company's overall value or current pricing.
According to Insider Monkey’s first quarter database, 13 hedge funds held stakes worth $82.8 million in Piedmont Lithium Inc. (NASDAQ:PLL), compared to 11 funds in the prior quarter worth $31.6 million.
Like Albemarle Corporation (NYSE:ALB), Rio Tinto Group (NYSE:RIO), and Livent Corporation (NYSE:LTHM), Piedmont Lithium Inc. (NASDAQ:PLL) is one of the premier lithium stocks favored by billionaire investors.
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Disclosure: None. 10 Lithium Stocks Billionaires Are Loading Up On is originally published on Insider Monkey.