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Livent Up on Q1 Results, Says Capacity Expansions on Track

Lithium miner Livent (NYSE:LTHM) posted a 56 percent increase in year-on-year revenue, beating expectations and raising its full-year guidance on the back of higher lithium prices.

Livent’s Q1 revenue hit US$143.5 million, up 17 percent from the last quarter of 2021. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) were US$53.3 million, up 94 percent in that time.

“Strong lithium demand growth has continued in 2022,” Paul Graves, president and CEO of Livent, said on Tuesday (May 3). “Published lithium prices in all forms have increased rapidly amid very tight market conditions and Livent continues to achieve higher realized prices across its entire product portfolio.”

Last year, lithium prices climbed on the back of strong demand from the electric vehicle (EV) industry. So far in 2022, prices have increased more than 129 percent, according to Benchmark Mineral Intelligence data.

As a result of improved pricing, the Philadelphia-based company has revised its forecast revenue to a range of US$755 million to US$835 million for 2022, and its adjusted EBITDA to a range of US$290 million to US$350 million.

On Tuesday, the Argentina-focused company also said it remains on track to deliver all previously announced capacity expansions. Livent is currently evaluating a third lithium carbonate expansion that will allow it to reach 100,000 metric tons (MT) of lithium carbonate equivalent by the end of 2030.

The miner said it also expects to add another 15,000 MT of lithium hydroxide capacity at a new location in China by the end of 2023. Aside from that, Livent is now evaluating kicking off a new lithium recycling facility, located in Europe or North America, which could produce 10,000 MT of lithium hydroxide by the end of 2025. Additionally, the company’s 5,000 MT expansion at Bessemer City is nearly complete.

Livent expects to have total lithium hydroxide capacity of at least 55,000 MT by the end of 2025, more than double its existing capacity of 25,000 MT. This excludes any capacity from Nemaska Lithium, in which the company doubled its ownership interest earlier this week. The Quebec project has 34,000 MT of nameplate capacity.

Philadelphia-based Livent operates its lithium business in the Salar del Hombre Muerto in Argentina, where it has been extracting the material for more than 20 years. The lithium carbonate produced serves as the feedstock for Livent’s downstream lithium hydroxide production. Livent is also currently producing qualified battery-grade lithium hydroxide in both the US and China.

The company’s share price jumped more than 23 percent following its Q1 results, and is up almost 5 percent year-on-year. Other US, Canadian and Australian lithium stocks have also seen year-to-date gains.

As of 12:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday (May 4), shares of Livent were trading at US$26.78.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Priscila Barrera, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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