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Bill Gates Plugs “Next Gen” Nuclear That Solves All Issues Of ‘Safety & Economics’

Bill Gates Plugs "Next Gen" Nuclear That Solves All Issues Of ‘Safety & Economics’

For the past two months, Zero Hedge has been especially constructive on the uranium sector (and its handful of beaten down stocks), which we, and others,..

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Bill Gates Plugs "Next Gen" Nuclear That Solves All Issues Of 'Safety & Economics'

For the past two months, Zero Hedge has been especially constructive on the uranium sector (and its handful of beaten down stocks), which we, and others, suspect may benefit tremendously as the sector gets swept up in the ESG euphoria many expect to follow the collapse of Texas' independent power grid during this bitter winter storm. While conservatives have already attacked windmills and other "green" energy for contributing to the grid's failure in the face of record low temperatures and snow in Texas (which never "winter-fied" its power grid)...

...Many on the left, including AOC and other Green New Deal types, are using the opportunity to push their agenda own.

Somewhere in the middle, uranium bulls have been growing increasingly convinced about the commodity's prospects, as prices have trended after roughly a decade in the unloved wilderness. Will nuclear be the next "ESG Craze"?  Hugh Hendry and Michael Burry (two iconic hedge fund managers) have both plugged nuclear power, with Burry calling on the Dems to "convert the US to nuclear" adding the hashtag #greenfuturenow.

In a recent Bear Traps Report, Larry McDonald wrote that one of the "cons" of nuclear is what to do with the potentially harmful waste.

Nuclear Pros and Cons:

Nuclear is so much better for the environment but the two major issues environmentalists site as problems is discharged cooling water than harms fish due to warmer temp and micro leaks that go undetected. How to dispose of contamination is an issue too. I believe all these things have been addressed in the last couple decades and micronuclear sites are a way to limit fallout concerns, albeit extremely low. However, Japan didn't do proponents of nuclear any favor and hard to ensure total safety when the Earth can move below you...

Well, in an interview with CNBC's Andrew Ross Sorkin on Thursday, billionaire Bill Gates joined in the chorus of pro-nuclear voices (something that he has long supported) as he sat for an interview on CNBC to plug a new book he is selling. 

Asked pointed blank if Gates ever thought nuclear power would ever be politically palatable again, he responded "absolutely", adding that nuclear - counter to the contemporary wisdom - is actually safer than natural gas and other fossil fuels, when one accounts for deaths from inhaling coal particulate and natural gas pipelines exploding.

"The deaths per unit of power of these other approaches are far higher. And the miracle is I'm not even talking about the current generation of nuclear. There's a new generation that solves the problem of economics...which is the big problem with nuclear" while also taking care of some of the safety issues.

Gates then seized the opportunity to plug Terrapower, a public-private partnership (with money mostly from Gates), along with other government project, before later adding that the new generation of nuclear companies are figuring out how to mitigate threats, like the cleanup of waste (by burying it deep underground).

Watch the full interview below:


Tyler Durden Thu, 02/18/2021 - 20:20

Energy & Critical Metals

7 Short-Interest Stocks That Could Be Bull Traps

For most lay participants in the markets, the equities sector represents a one-way street. Banking on the upward bias of U.S.-based blue chips, almost…

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For most lay participants in the markets, the equities sector represents a one-way street. Banking on the upward bias of U.S.-based blue chips, almost every financial advisor recommends a buy-and-hold strategy for those who have retirement accounts. While such an approach has proven viable, it also raises a key question among participants because equities also move in the other direction. This brings up the discussion about short-interest stocks.

By definition, short-interest stocks are equity units which are held short; that is, traders are taking a negative bet against the shares in question, profiting when they go down in value. A short position starts when a trader borrows securities from a broker, who then immediately sells them. The idea is to hope those shares drop in price so that the trader can acquire them to fulfill the loan obligation, thus taking the leftover amount as profit.

While an intriguing concept, heavily shorted securities can bounce higher from bullish investors seeking a discounted opportunity. When that happens, bearish traders must cover their positions; otherwise, an equity unit has no upside price limit so the obligation for the bears is theoretically unlimited. Such panicked covering results in a short squeeze, which explains the meme trade phenomenon. Hence, gambling on short-interest stocks can be lucrative.

And thanks to the meme-ing that has taken over Wall Street, the new generation of traders are scouring reports on short interest ratios, or the total number of shares of particular companies that are held short (as in not yet covered or closed out). But simply buying short-interest stocks is a risky approach. If it were that easy to gain riches in the market, everyone would be doing it.

If you’re going to wager on securities that are beaten down badly, you want to make sure what the reason for the negativity is. Sometimes, shares are terrible performers because they’ve “earned” the red ink. Here are short-interest stocks that you may want to perform an extra round of due diligence on before proceeding.

  • Greenidge Generation (NASDAQ:GREE)
  • Workhorse Group (NASDAQ:WKHS)
  • Acrimoto (NASDAQ:FUV)
  • Lordstown Motors (NASDAQ:RIDE)
  • Intercept Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ICPT)
  • SmileDirectClub (NASDAQ:SDC)
  • iRobot (NASDAQ:IRBT)

Treat the list below not as a discouragement against betting on short-interest stocks but rather as an encouragement to check under the hood. For instance, if you’ve got your heart set on a used car, wouldn’t you want to do a comprehensive vehicle history report before inking a document with a slimy salesperson? It’s the same concept here.

Short-Interest Stocks: Greenidge Generation (GREE)

Source: Shutterstock

Although the meme-trade phenomenon produced massive gains early on for certain investments, it’s important to realize that no guarantees exist in the market. True, the idea of gambling on short-interest stocks with coordinated fervor on social media caught the vanguard of Wall Street hedge funds with their pants down. The little guy won and that’s something to be celebrated.

But as the fiasco surrounding Greenidge Generation proves, just because you buy short-interest stocks doesn’t mean that other bulls will follow you in the trade. As you’ve probably heard, Greenidge Generation, a vertically integrated cryptocurrency mining and power generation company, closed its previously announced merger with Support.com, a customer and technical support solutions provider.

To be fair, Support.com shares did blast higher shortly after I wrote about it on Aug. 12 of this year. But after peaking at a closing price over $316, the newly minted GREE shares suffered a catastrophic failure. If you’re thinking that the merger could produce some upward gains, I’d cautiously warn against the idea.

In short, cryptos are highly volatile and there’s a very real possibility that the sector could incur a long dark winter. If so, you’d be overpaying for GREE stock.

Workhorse Group (WKHS)

A Workhorse W-15 hybrid electric pickup truck on display at a branding event in Flatiron Plaza in New York.Source: Shutterstock

Personally, Workhorse Group is an intriguing case among short-interest stocks that seemingly offer upside but are likely instead bull traps. It’s interesting to me because over the years, I’ve attracted criticism that my work is nothing more than groupthink.

Turns out, the Oxford dictionary defines groupthink as the “practice of thinking or making decisions as a group in a way that discourages creativity or individual responsibility.” I’ve been accused of many things in life but lacking creativity or shunning responsibility has never come up.

Anyways, I was one of few voices that went against the groupthink model that Workhorse was virtually guaranteed to win the U.S. Postal Service contract for replacing its aging mail carriers on the basis that Workhorse offered the only full electric solution. You can review that article to see why I don’t think it’s wise to bet too strongly on the speculative venture.

Recently, Workhorse also dropped its legal challenge against the USPS, with CEO Rick Dauch stating that he believes the “best way for us to work with any governmental agency is through cooperation, not through litigation.” Well, that ship may have already sailed.

Short-Interest Stocks: Acrimoto (FUV)

Image of Arcimoto's (FUV) logo amplified by a magnifying glass on the company's home web page.Source: Pavel Kapysh / Shutterstock.com

With both social and political sentiment aligned toward clean energy solutions, electric vehicle manufacturers like Acrimoto offer fundamental pertinence. As well, the company isn’t competing with the ultra-competitive full-size EV manufacturers, where the underlying industry will soon welcome a wave of legacy automakers’ electric-powered models.

Instead, Acrimoto competes in a niche market of extremely compact passenger and delivery vehicles. On the surface, the idea makes plenty of sense, with modern personal mobility solutions valuing space-efficient solutions. But the problem is that the company isn’t generating the results that it needs for long-term survival.

For instance, on a percentage-basis, Acrimoto posted year-over-year revenue growth of 167% in the second quarter of 2021. But the problem was two-fold: first, the nominal sales only amounted to $720,000 and second, the operating income was a loss of over $9 million. The company’s not even making money on a gross profit basis, which is problematic.

Sure, FUV is one of the most bearish short-interest stocks with almost 37% of the float held short. But that’s not enough of a comforting catalyst for anyone who isn’t a stare-death-in-the-face gambler.

Lordstown Motors (RIDE)

A magnifying glass zooms in on the website for Lordstown Motors (RIDE).Source: Postmodern Studio / Shutterstock.com

Following the theme of EV-related short-interest stocks, Lordstown Motors was once one of the most-discussed investment opportunities in the next-generation transportation sector. Today, it seems like hardly anyone mentions it except to heap on the brewing negatives regarding the organization.

To quickly recap, Lordstown first generated buzz for its all-electric commercial pickup trucks. A particularly fascinating innovation was the company’s in-wheel drive system which facilitated additional storage capacity and apparently better performance metrics.

But serious questions started arising about the viability of the underlying technologies along with Lordstown’s ability to meet its lofty production goals. As I mentioned in May of this year, the New York Times provided a detailed list of the company’s shortcomings.

Soon after my article was published, I received criticism for rehashing speculation and skewed facts about Lordstown, while being mildly gaslighted by speculation in favor of RIDE stock.

For anyone who still has a problem with my May article, please let the New York Times know about its allegedly false coverage of Lordstown, of which I based my thesis. As of this writing, the Times has yet to change its tune or tone.

Until I see a retraction, betting on RIDE based merely on its status as one of the short-interest stocks is very risky.

Short-Interest Stocks: Intercept Pharmaceuticals (ICPT)

rows of pills on a table representing pharmaceutical stocksSource: Iryna Imago / Shutterstock.com

On the surface, Intercept Pharmaceuticals seems to offer a hidden contrarian case — and it just might be that, to be blunt. As of the latest read (August 31, 2021), Intercept featured a short percentage of float of 39.4%, which is incredibly high. The short ratio or days to cover is not quite as alarming for your information, at just under six days.

What makes this intriguing for the bulls is Intercept’s flagship drug Ocaliva, where the pharmaceutical firm has the worldwide rights to develop the therapeutic outside Japan and China. Medical professionals use Ocaliva to address primary biliary cholangitis (PBC), a “chronic, cholestatic, autoimmune disease with a variable progressive course,” per the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

While offering a compelling contrarian case, the problem is that the bulls have been supporting the upside narrative for a very long time — and it has nothing but terrible results to show for it. On a year-to-date basis, ICPT has dropped nearly 44% while against the trailing year, it’s down almost 65%.

However, the good news is that Intercept finally generated positive operating income in Q2 of this year. Over the past month, ICPT is up over 12%. So it’s possible that a recovery could be on the way although for most investors, this is probably too risky.

SmileDirectClub (SDC)

a Smile Direct Club storefrontSource: Helen89 / Shutterstock.com

Another one of the short-interest stocks that I’m conflicted on, SmileDirectClub seems to offer a very compelling contrarian argument. First off, the market has badly bruised SDC, with shares down nearly 49% YTD. What initially started off in the open market as a double-digit equity unit has turned into a stock that closed at exactly $6 on the Sept. 16 session.

But that means shares represent an upside opportunity right? It’s possible given that it’s one of the most negatively viewed short-interest stocks. The latest data indicates that SDC has a short percent of float of almost 33%.

Also, let’s acknowledge the massive catalyst. With society gradually normalizing — or at least acclimating to the new normal — more folks are out and about. That means there’s a greater incentive to look good, bolstering the narrative for SmileDirectClub.

But is that enough to overcome the wall of worry that has surrounded SDC? Here’s the deal — SDC broke down just below the $7 level in early August. Therefore, shares must rise convincingly above $7 for investors to have a measure of confidence. Otherwise, I’d probably leave this one alone.

Short-Interest Stocks: iRobot (IRBT)

An iRobot (IRBT) Roomba inside Saturn electronic storeSource: Grzegorz Czapski / Shutterstock.com

Frankly, iRobot is one of the short-interest stocks that could go either way. But I’m going to lay out the dynamics surround IRBT so that you can make an informed decision.

On the surface, IRBT immediately appeals to the meme-trade crowd, which features a short-percent of float of 41%. Also, don’t ignore that the days to cover is 15.4 days, which combined could spell a short-squeeze opportunity. Usually, analysts consider days to cover over 10 as being very pessimistic. As you know, too much pessimism in this environment could spell trouble for the bears.

But then, why are the bears so optimistic about their position? Mainly, I believe it’s because of the semiconductor crisis. Unlike dumb vacuum cleaners, smart variants like iRobot’s require computer chips to function properly. But what do we have so little of right now? Computer chips.

You’ll notice that in Q2 2021, iRobot’s net income fell into negative territory, which is an unusual development. Now, the semiconductor crisis will not last forever, which is positive for IRBT. However, the crisis may drag on longer than previously expected, which would not be great for iRobot.

Ultimately, conservative investors may be best left waiting till the end of the year before betting on IRBT.

On the date of publication, Josh Enomoto did not have (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.

A former senior business analyst for Sony Electronics, Josh Enomoto has helped broker major contracts with Fortune Global 500 companies. Over the past several years, he has delivered unique, critical insights for the investment markets, as well as various other industries including legal, construction management, and healthcare.

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Energy & Critical Metals

Lightning eMotors Stock Is a Buy on More Than Just Its Berkshire Connection

The electric vehicle (EV) revolution isn’t just about cars. It also involves zero-emission buses, powertrains and charging products. Lightning eMotors (NYSE:ZEV)…

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The electric vehicle (EV) revolution isn’t just about cars. It also involves zero-emission buses, powertrains and charging products. Lightning eMotors (NYSE:ZEV) provides all of these and more, which makes ZEV stock one of the more interesting plays in the EV space.

Source: BigPixel Photo / Shutterstock.com

Besides, that’s not the only angle worth pursuing here. As InvestorPlace contributor Chris MacDonald pointed out and William White reaffirmed, Lightning eMotors appears to be a prime short-squeeze target.

We’ll certainly explore ZEV stock’s potential as a short-squeeze candidate. However, there are other reasons to take a long position in Lightning eMotors.

Among those reasons are a pair of deals valued in the millions of dollars. Better yet, one of those deals involves a holding company whose CEO should be very familiar to many investors.

Let’s rewind the clock to April 21, which is when shell company GigCapital3’s stockholders approved a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) merger with Lightning eMotors.

GigCapital3 fulfilled its purpose and ZEV stock was born on May 7. The share price was around $8.67 at that time.

By Aug. 9, the stock had drifted down to $6 and change. However, the bearish price trajectory would soon be reversed.

On Aug. 10, ZEV stock suddenly shot up to $11.60. Was this because of a Reddit-fueled short-squeeze raid?

More likely, it was spurred by a value-added deal involving a well-known holding company – but we’ll get to that in a moment.

At the same time, we can’t ignore the short-squeeze potential with Lightning eMotors. Not long ago, MacDonald observed that ZEV stock’s short percent of float was extremely high, at around 35%. He also noted the company’s high borrow fee rate of 87%, which could make it difficult for short sellers to hold their positions for a long period of time.

In any case, ZEV stock has settled at $8 and change today, well below the pre-SPAC-deal-announcement price, so there may be a bargain here.

The Buffett Connection

If anything makes Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A, NYSE:BRK.B) special, it’s the renown afforded to its legendary CEO, Warren Buffett.

Anytime a smaller company gets a Buffett connection, investors perk up and take notice.

This is exactly what happened with Lightning eMotors as Forest River, a Berkshire Hathaway company and North America’s largest shuttle bus manufacturer, entered into a strategic partnership in August.

According to the press release, Lightning eMotors has been tasked with delivering up to 7,500 zero-emission Class 4 and Class 5 buses across the U.S. and Canada between 2021 and 2025.

This should keep the company busy and flush with capital as the deal has a potential estimated value of up to $850 million. Lightning eMotors CEO Tim Reeser is ecstatic about this arrangement, no doubt.

“This has the potential to be the largest contract ever in the electric shuttle bus market,” he said.

Another Power-Packed Deal

Just in case the $850 million Berkshire-backed agreement isn’t enough for you, here’s another deal to augment the bull thesis for ZEV stock.

On Aug. 31, the company announced a strategic partnership to manufacture and deploy zero-emission, all-electric Type A school buses.

This partnership is with  Collins Bus, a leader in manufacturing Type A School Buses and a subsidiary of Rev Group (NYSE:REVG).

Collins Bus is highly experienced in this niche market. In fact, the company has deployed over 70,000 buses over the past 50 years across the U.S. and Canada.

Moreover, this partnership should help Lightning eMotors move further into the school bus electrification market.

“Electrifying school buses just makes sense,” said Chief Revenue Officer Kash Sethi. “With predictable routes, dedicated overnight parking at school bus depots, fuel and maintenance savings, all-electric school buses now make a lot of operational and financial sense as well.”

The Bottom Line

There certainly could be short-squeeze potential here if Lightning eMotors becomes a target of the Reddit crowd.

Yet, that’s not the only reason to put ZEV stock on your radar.

With a Buffett-backed deal and a foray into the electric school bus market, Lightning eMotors could be the next EV business to ride to the top.

On the date of publication, David Moadel did not have (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.

David Moadel has provided compelling content – and crossed the occasional line – on behalf of Crush the Street, Market Realist, TalkMarkets, Finom Group, Benzinga, and (of course) InvestorPlace.com. He also serves as the chief analyst and market researcher for Portfolio Wealth Global and hosts the popular financial YouTube channel Looking at the Markets.

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Energy & Critical Metals

GM’s Battery Supplier Resumes Production

General Motors’ (GM) battery supplier LG Corporation has resumed production at its plants located in Hazel Park and Holland, Michigan. The supplier is…

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General Motors' (GM) battery supplier LG Corporation has resumed production at its plants located in Hazel Park and Holland, Michigan. The supplier is also to add capacity to produce more battery cells to meet the automaker's needs. Shares of the automaker fell 3.82% to close at $49.37 on Monday.

LG ramping up production should allow General Motors to begin shipping “replacement battery modules” as early as mid-October. The battery supplier has already implemented a new manufacturing process and enhanced its quality assurance programs to address the issue of battery fires that have recently raised concerns. (See General Motors stock charts on TipRanks)

Meanwhile, GM is to prioritize Chevy Bolt EV and EUV customers whose batteries were faulty and susceptible to catching fire. The automaker has already established a notification process to inform affected customers about the availability of battery replacement modules.

The new batteries will come with an extended limited battery warranty of 8-year/100,000-mile. Additionally, GM intends to launch a new diagnostic software package that will increase the currently available battery charging parameters. The diagnostic software will also detect abnormalities in the battery by monitoring its performance.

Recently, Barclays analyst Brian Johnson reiterated a Buy rating on the stock and lowered the price target to $68 from $71, implying 37.7% upside potential to current levels.

According to Johnson, chip shortages in the auto industry continue to impact General Motors' North America wholesales. Further, the analyst expects the company to post results inside its guidance range.

Consensus among analysts is a Strong Buy based on 13 Buys and 1 Hold. The average General Motors price target of $73.36 implies 48.6% upside potential to current levels.

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The post GM's Battery Supplier Resumes Production appeared first on TipRanks Financial Blog.

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