Five Wall Street firms, including Jefferies and Barclays, initiated research coverage of Argo Blockchain (NASDAQ: ARBK) on Monday with buy ratings – all of them expecting the company’s Texas crypto mining facility to be a catalyst for the shares to move higher.
Jefferies analyst Jonathan Petersen has the highest 12-month price target of $30 per share for the London-based miner. “BTC mining should remain a high margin business, and ARBK’s margin should improve as they build out in Texas, where power rates (largest OpEx) are half the rate of the in-place portfolio,” Petersen wrote. He also thinks Argo’s investment in sustainable energy and decentralized finance (DeFi) is the differentiating factor versus its mining peers.
The flood of Argo initiations comes after the expiration of a 25-day “quiet period” where investment firms must hold off on issuing ratings until a set time after a given initial public offering (IPO).
D.A. Davidson analyst Christopher Brendler said Argo fits well within his “survive and thrive” thesis for the miners. He expects its new Texas facility will enable the company to grow its hashrate and franchise value and provides access to one of the cheapest power rates in the industry. Brendler has a $27 per share price target for Argo.
Furthermore, Canaccord’s Joseph Vafi said “after adding 600 petahash of new hydro-driven mining capacity in Quebec during Q2, all the pieces are coming together for the company to further, materially expand its hashrate capacity in 2022, leveraging 200 MW of cheap, Texas wind power and recently placed orders for new Bitcoin (BTC) miners.” His 12-month price target is $24 for the miner’s stock.
Barclays analyst Ramsey El-Assal sees Argo’s current share price as a “compelling entry point” for investors due to its relative value versus the mining peers, rising popularity of bitcoin and near-term margin expansion potential through its new mining facility in West Texas. His 12-month price target is $22 per share. (For context, shares of other mining competitors such as Riot Blockchain are trading near $30 per share; Marathon Digital is above $50 per share.)
Meanwhile, Compass Point analyst Giuliano Bologna slapped a price target of $21 per share, lowest among the analysts, but still recommended investors buying the shares. Bologna sees securing a power purchase agreement and completing the construction of its Texas facility as potential near-term catalysts. However, he noted that “visibility” is needed to justify additional upside for the shares.
The American depositary shares of Argo have not kept pace with its peers since the miner’s Nasdaq IPO in September. The stock has risen little over 2% since its trading debut, while Viridi Cleaner Energy Crypto-Mining & Semiconductor ETF, or RIGZ, which has heavy exposure to the miners and was launched in July, has gained more than 10% in the same time period.
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