3 Lithium Mining Stocks to Sell in July Before They Crash & Burn

  • These lithium mining stocks face several challenges relating to their operational performance.
  • Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile (SQM): SQM holds an 18% market share in the global lithium industry as of FY23.
  • Albemarle (ALB): ALB has faced a reduction in earnings due to oversupply and falling lithium prices.
  • Sigma Lithium (SGML): SGML trades at a forward P/E ratio significantly higher than the industry average.
Lithium Mining Stocks to Sell - 3 Lithium Mining Stocks to Sell in July Before They Crash & Burn

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Despite the soaring demand for lithium driven by the electric vehicle revolution, not every player in the lithium mining sector is set to benefit. As the market continues to expand, several lithium mining companies are encountering significant hurdles that may hinder their performance.

The expected demand for lithium has led to an oversupply, which has led to a decline in lithium price. In the first quarter of 2024, lithium prices remained subdued, significantly lower than the peaks of 2022 and 2023 due to oversupply and weak electric vehicle demand.

The complexities of lithium extraction, combined with fluctuating market demands and potential supply chain disruptions, add layers of risk to investments in this sector. In this context, here are three lithium mining stocks that investors should sell to protect their portfolios from significant downsides.

Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile (SQM)

Sociedad Quimica y Minera logo displayed on a mobile phone with the company's web page on it. SQM stock
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Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile (NYSE:SQM) is one of the leading lithium producers globally. The company holds a significant market share in the industry, estimated at 18% as of FY23.

The Chilean government’s decision in April 2023 to adopt a more protectionist approach to its national resources presents new challenges for SQM, especially with the looming expiration of the Salar de Atacama concession in December 2030.

Looking into FY24, SQM anticipates a subdued performance from its lithium sector, with prices expected to hover around lower levels seen in Q4 2023. This forecast aligns with the broader industry’s sentiment. The company plans significant capital expenditures aimed at enhancing production capacities and exploring new geographical territories, particularly through a joint venture in Australia expected to commence in FY25.

The strategic shift towards diversification and expansion into new markets could pave the way for sustained growth. However, this also requires substantial investment and introduces new operational complexities.

Albemarle (ALB)

Albemarle (ALB) logo on a mobile phone screen
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Albemarle (NYSE:ALB) has seen its share price and financial performance undergo significant volatility of late.

Despite a temporary surge in demand during the height of the EV market expansion, the company has faced challenges due to oversupply and subsequent price drops. As of the last fiscal quarter, Albemarle reported a noticeable reduction in earnings, with profitability squeezed by the lower price environment.

In Q1 2024, the company reported a decline in both top-line revenue and bottom-line profit as lithium prices have not sustained their previous highs. In response to these unfavorable market conditions, Albemarle has adjusted its production forecasts and scaled back capital expenditures.

While these measures are intended to stabilize the company’s financials, they also signal potential stagnation in growth prospects. Furthermore, these cutbacks may not suffice if lithium prices continue to languish or fall further as the global market adjusts to the current oversupply.

Sigma Lithium (SGML)

Graphic of Lithium scientific symbol (Li) in the shape of a big white gear with construction equipment and mountain around it. favorite Lithium stocks
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Sigma Lithium (NASDAQ:SGML) is a notable player in the lithium market. The current valuation of Sigma Lithium, with a forward P/E ratio significantly higher than the industry average, suggests a premium that may not be justified given the operational and market risks.

The company reported revenue of $37.2 million in Q1 2024, closely aligning with the previous quarter. However, the modest 1.29% quarter-over-quarter decline in revenue and the significant market challenges pose risks to sustained financial performance.

The company’s reliance on external financing to support its expansion, evidenced by its planned $100 million capital expenditure, introduces additional risk. With current cash reserves insufficient to cover these expenses, Sigma Lithium may increase its debt or dilute shareholder value through equity financing, both of which could negatively impact its financial stability and investor returns.

The regulatory landscape for mining operations, especially in Brazil, remains complex and subject to change. Potential changes in regulation or shifts in policy towards foreign mining operations could introduce operational disruptions or additional compliance costs, adversely affecting the company’s operational efficiency and cost structure.

On the date of publication, Mohammed Saqib did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

On the date of publication, the responsible editor did not have (either directly or
indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.

Mohammed Saqib is a research analyst with experience in equity research and financial modeling. He has extensively covered stocks listed in the tech sector using fundamental analysis as the cornerstone of his approach. Currently pursuing a master’s degree in finance, Saqib is dedicated to obtaining the CFA charter to augment his expertise in the field further.

Article printed from InvestorPlace Media, https://investorplace.com/2024/07/3-lithium-mining-stocks-to-sell-in-july-before-they-crash-burn/.

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