When I got the call to write about Ideanomics (NASDAQ:IDEX) and IDEX stock, at first, I thought I’d be writing about Idexx Laboratories (NASDAQ:IDXX) one of the best pet care stocks available. I recommended it in June and continue to like it.
Alas, Ideanomics isn’t that stock.
It’s a $559 million market cap that has had its ups and downs over the past year, hitting $3 on two occasions and going as low as 28 cents in the March correction.
Interestingly, my InvestorPlace colleague, Josh Enomoto, recently mentioned the fintech company in passing. Its Securities and Exchange Commission company search reads like a list of Elizabeth Taylor’s former husbands. There are no less than eight former companies with filings from 2006, an average of a company every 1.75 years.
This ought to be good.
So, trading at $2.34 as I write this, I’ve got to figure out a compelling reason to consider IDEX stock.
It dawned on me that I’d come across Solectrac while writing about equity crowdfunding last summer — InvestorPlace’s Stavros Georgiadis wrote about the electric tractor company in August — and given how hot anything related to green energy is, that’s as good a place to start.
By the end, I might be able to give Ideanomics the thumbs up for aggressive investors. I’m not sure this is something for your 401(k), but we’ll see.
Solectrac and IDEX Stock
First, I’ll go back to what my colleague had to say about Solectrac in August. He was looking at it in the context of an equity crowdfunding campaign the company was conducting on StartEngine.
The capital raise was a success bringing in $1.07 million, the maximum possible under the regulations at the time. In November, the Regulation Crowdfunding (Reg CF) offering limit was raised from $1.07 million to $5 million, providing companies like Solectrac with a better chance of getting the capital they need to grow.
Solectrac attracted 1,764 investors to its equity crowdfunding campaign with an average investment of $607, a typical average for this kind of capital raise.
Georgiadis particularly liked the way Solectrac takes 50% upfront when a customer orders a tractor and gets the remaining 50% upon delivery. This provides the farmer with greater control over their cash flow while also giving Solectrac a little cash flow flexibility.
He also liked that the North American tractor market is expected to grow to more than $20 billion by 2023, up $8 billion from 2017, a compound annual growth rate of 9%.
That said, it doesn’t mean you should run out and buy it just yet. Here’s why.
Ideanomics Pushes Dual Mission
The company has two businesses.
Mobile Energy Global (MEG) is working toward a world where commercial electric vehicles are the norm. It owns 24% of Solectrac and has several other direct investments.
Ideanomics Capital supports and invests in financial technology. It has several investments, including the Capital Link NextGen Vehicles & Technology ETF (NYSE:EKAR), which invests in ideas that drive the EV market, including EV manufacturers, autonomous driving, battery technology, renewable energy, and energy storage. It has gathered $6.6 million in total net assets since launching in February 2018.
While I get that Ideanomics is focused on clean energy, it can’t seem to find one or two great businesses that it can really lean into. Having an ETF that’s almost three years old and has amassed just $6.6 million does not inspire me to want to know more.
My InvestorPlace colleagues are all over the place when it comes to IDEX stock.
Louis Navellier believes that the company’s investments in early-stage businesses related to electric vehicles and clean energy could turn out to be diamonds in the rough. If it can get to and stay above $5 for a significant amount of time, it’s got a real shot.
However, Mark Hake believes it has no hope of becoming profitable soon, providing investors with little or no upside.
“[O]nly the most speculative of investors would have an interest in Ideanomics at this point,” Hake wrote on Dec. 8.
“Sure, its recent investment in an upstart electric tractor company may be worthwhile in the long run. But for the time being, it will do nothing to help the company produce profit. That means there is little upside in IDEX stock.”
The Bottom Line
As I write this, Ideanomics has announced that it is acquiring 100% of Utah-based Wireless Advanced Vehicle Electrification Inc. (WAVE) for cash and stock. The company specializes in wireless charging for medium and heavy-duty EVs.
While this seems like another good idea, it does nothing to put Ideanomics on the pathway to profitability.
For me, there are too many moving parts. It needs to dump the fintech label and focus on clean energy. Perhaps this latest move is an admission of this fact.
The company recently sold $37.5 million in 4% convertible notes due July 4, 2021, to a single investor (YA II PN Ltd.), that are exercisable at $2 a share. That, to me, would be a much better investment at this point than buying its stock outright.
As my colleague said, only the most speculative investors should have anything to do with Ideanomics. It’s a venture capital play that could end very badly.
But hey, IDXX still makes sense.
On the date of publication, Will Ashworth did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.
Will Ashworth has written about investments full-time since 2008. Publications where he’s appeared include InvestorPlace, The Motley Fool Canada, Investopedia, Kiplinger, and several others in both the U.S. and Canada. He particularly enjoys creating model portfolios that stand the test of time. He lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia. At the time of this writing Will Ashworth did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.