Crypto mining stocks have become fashionable lately, especially since they are generally seen as a substitute for owning cryptocurrency. So, instead of buying Bitcoin (CCC:BTC-USD) or Ethereum (CCC-ETH-USD), you can buy a crypto mining stock in the same way people buy gold mining stocks. They see those as an alternative to owning gold.
One reason for this is the companies make revenue and have the ability to generate profits. Owning a cryptocurrency does not guarantee you any kind of revenue. Another reason is that a number of these crypto mining stocks have begun holding as well as buying their underlying cryptos. In the case of Marathon Digital Holdings (NASDAQ:MARA), the company does not convert its mined cryptos into dollars. It simply holds them on their balance sheet.
A third reason is that a number of these companies now have very high gross margins. These windfall profits are due to a wide gulf between the costs of mining, even with heavy electricity costs and high hash rates, and the much higher price of Bitcoin and other cryptos. For example, some of these crypto miners have secured very favorable long-term electricity contracts with their local energy providers.
Therefore, the following four crypto mining stocks are worth considering. Here is the list:
- Riot Blockchain (NASDAQ:RIOT)
- Hive Blockchain Technologies (OTCMTKS:HVBTF)
- Hut 8 Mining Corp (OTCMKTS:HUTMF)
- Bit Digital (NASDAQ:BTBT)
Let’s dive into these stocks.
Crypto Mining Stocks To Buy Now: Riot Blockchain (RIOT)
Market Capitalization: $4.25 billion
Riot Blockchain is a digital currency mining company based in Castle Rock, CO, but its mining operations are in upstate New York. It also buys and sells digital currencies, and provides accounting, audit, and verification services for blockchain-based assets.
Riot recently jacked up its mining capacity so that it can achieve an estimated hash rate capacity of 1.06 Exahash per second (EH/s). That is equal to one quintillion hashes per second, a number with 18 zeros behind the 1, or 1 billion billion hashes per second.
In addition, with additional application-specific (ASIC) mining rigs, made specifically for Bitcoin mining, the company expects to reach 3.8 EH/s by October 2021. This should make it the largest or close to the largest Bitcoin miners in the world.
Riot Blockchain just released its earnings update for 2020 on March 15. It produced 1,005 Bitcoin in 2020, and by February had produced 179 Bitcoins, 43% higher than Jan. 2021. This puts it on a run-rate, which is likely higher now, of 2,148 Bitcoins, or 113.7% higher than 2020. Let’s assume a price of $58,000 per Bitcoin. That equates to a run-rate revenue of $124.58 million.
Therefore, assuming it reaches a run rate of 250 BTC per month by October 2021, its revenue rate will be $14.50 million per month, or $174 million annually. As the company claims it will reach 4 EH/s by the end of the year, this could mean a substantially higher level.
The earnings update did not release profit numbers, but we can assume that by the end of the first quarter of 2021, the company will be making significant profits. My estimate is that that it will make 90% gross margins.
I suspect that the stock has the ability to at least double from here, as long as Bitcoin continues to provide huge windfall profits to Riot.
HIVE Blockchain Technologies (HVBTF)
Market Cap: $1.3 billion
Hive Blockchain is a Vancouver-based crypto mining company with operations in Canada, Sweden, and Iceland. The company produced earnings for its latest quarter ending Dec. 31 on March 2, showing that it generated $13.7 million. It mines both Ethereum (in Sweden and Iceland) and Bitcoin and has gross margins of 77%.
Hive Blockchain makes about 20,000 Ether coins per quarter, which at today’s rate of about $1,800 per Ether, equals $36 million. That puts it on an annualized run rate of $144 million in revenue. At its $1.3 billion market cap, that puts Hive stock at about 9 times revenue.
Hive also announced a $100 million At-the-Market (ATM) equity capital raise, which it will use to repay debt and for corporate purposes. Look for the stock, which is also listed in Canada, to continue to move higher, as it is up about 100% year-to-date, especially as Ethereum rises.
Hut 8 Mining Corp (HUTMF)
Market Cap: $962 million
Hut 8 Mining stock is up about 173% year-to-date, not only because it is a profitable Bitcoin miner but also because it has a big Bitcoin portfolio. The company will announce its earnings results on Mar. 25 for the year ending Dec. 31.
Hut 8 says it has one of the highest installed mining capacities in its class. It also says on its website that it has one of the highest installed capacity rates in the industry. It claims to be among the “top 5 largest holders of self-mined Bitcoin of publicly-traded companies in the world.”
A recent research report in Seeking Alpha on Hut 8 says it had, as of January 2021, 3,000 Bitcoins in its treasury. At $58,000 per BTC that equals $174 million. The company also says that it has raised $100 million in equity capital. The report in January said that Hut 8 stock was undervalued at the time.
A new CEO and two new directors joined the company in November. The report said that the company had operations capable of producing 3.73 Bitcoin per day or 1,358 per year. At $58,000 per Bitcoin, that works out to revenue of about $78 million annually.
It’s too early to determine what the company’s profitability really is, on an ongoing basis, without further information. Investors should read its March 25 earnings release carefully to see what its future value could become. However, I expect this to be an extremely positive report, so be prepared to see the stock move higher.
Bit Digital (BTBT)
Source: biggunsband / Shutterstock.com
Market Cap: $822.6 million
This is a relatively unknown U.S. and Chinese digital currency miner, but some analysts like this Bitcoin miner the most. For example, a recent Seeking Alpha report on March 10, indicates that it trades at a huge discount on a price-to-sales ratio compared to other miners.
In addition, the company was producing 424.7 Bitcoins per month as of January. At $58,000 per BTC, that works out to $24.59 million, or $295.1 million annually. Given its $822.6 million market cap, this puts it roughly at a 3 times run-rate sales.
The company has not yet produced its earnings for 2020, so look for more information from the company in order to determine its long-term value. But right now, with this information about its January operations, look for the stock to at least double, if not triple once the market realizes what its comp value is worth.
But do be aware that the company recently released a press statement which it said it was providing in response to false allegations about the company’s operations. This may be referring to a Seeking Alpha report in April 2020 (back when the company was known as Golden Bull Limited) citing questionable practices at the company. As always, buyer beware.
These crypto mining stocks provide good exposure to digital currencies without having to buy the cryptos themselves. As Bitcoin and Ethereum hit peak prices, these companies are now making superior windfall gross margins, especially compared to their history.
Several of them have raised enough cash to be able to fund their operations with their cash assets, which allows them to keep the Bitcoin they have mined as long-term marketable securities on their balance sheet. This provides an additional upside leveraged exposure into digital currencies for investors.
On the date of publication, Mark R. Hake held a long position in Marathon Digital Holdings (MARA).
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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.