Bitcoin Miner Marathon First-Quarter Earnings Beat Estimates as SEC Extends Probe

The U.S. regulatory body is investigating related party transactions that may have violated securities laws.

AccessTimeIconMay 11, 2023 at 8:28 a.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 5:19 p.m. UTC

Marathon Digital Holdings (MARA), one of the largest publicly traded crypto miners in North America, reported a narrower-than-forecast first-quarter loss per share as a rising bitcoin price and increased production helped lift the Las Vegas-based company back toward profitability.

The company also said it received another subpoena from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which is looking into related-party transactions, among other things, that may have violated federal securities law. The company said it is cooperating with the investigation.

Marathon posted a net loss of $0.05 per share compared with an average estimate of $0.08 according to FactSet data. The loss narrowed from the previous quarter, when it was $3.14, as well as the same period in 2022, when it was $0.12, according to a Wednesday filing. Revenue rose to $51.1 million from $28.4 million in the previous three months. The figure was little changed from the year-earlier period. Analysts had forecast revenue of $48.8 million for the quarter.

After facing construction and operational hurdles last year, including the bankruptcy of one of its hosting partnersCompute North, Marathon has increased production. The firm’s operational hashrate increased 64% quarter on quarter to 11.5 exahash/second (EH/s), with bitcoin production hitting a record of BTC 2,195 ($80 million) in the quarter. The price of bitcoin surged more than 70% in the first quarter.

“After weathering a tumultuous 2022 that tested the resilience of our entire industry, this year is off to a strong start as we grew our hashrate, reduced our cost to mine, and improved our balance sheet during the first quarter,” Chairman and CEO Fred Thiel said in the statement.

Marathon shares fell more than 2% in pre-market Nasdaq trading on Thursday.

The SEC subpoena follows an earlier one regarding the issuance of 6 million shares of common stock related to its Hardin, Montana facility.

The company is working on expanding its operations into the Middle East. This week, it announced a joint venture with an investment firm backed by Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund for a 200 megawatt (MW) immersion-cooled facility in the emirate.

Along with other miners, Marathon sold almost all of its mined bitcoin in February, ending a long-time strategy to hold onto its production.

It has also worked to reduce debt levels, which were among the highest of publicly traded miners. In March, it terminated a credit facility with Silvergate Bank after earlier paying $30 million to the now-defunct bank.

CORRECTION (May 11, 14:10): Corrects company headquarters location in first paragraph.

Edited by Sheldon Reback.


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Eliza Gkritsi

Eliza Gkritsi is a CoinDesk contributor focused on the intersection of crypto and AI.