- Lithium-ion battery maker Freyr breaks ground at huge factory in Norway, and analysts notice and raise price target
- The company also plans to expand in the US and Japan
- Freyr has already partnered with Volkswagen to develop lithium battery technology for electric vehicles
Clean-tech battery maker Frey (NYSE: FREY) proves to be a success story on several levels. The stock looks poised for more gains as the company ramps up to better serve the electric vehicle market.
The Norwegian company designs and manufactures lithium-ion batteries for a variety of applications, including EVs, stationary energy storage, and marine and aviation use.
The stock rose during the open Friday, following news that it was beginning construction of a battery factory in Mo i Rana, Norway. This is an important development as it enables the fledgling company to expand its capabilities in high-growth markets such as EVs.
It would be the largest such factory outside of China. It comes at a time when international manufacturers are looking for components from countries other than China.
The stock price rose 8.38% in the last month, 105.86% in the last three months and 22.63% year-to-date, easily outperforming the broader market.
Freyr shares got a boost on Sept. 21, after Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas raised its price target from $18 to $26, and designated the stock as ‘overweight’. Jonas also wrote a research note outlining the factors that could drive the stock price up, including the new factory.
The stock’s consensus rating is “moderate buy,” with a price target of $21.50, upside potential of 51.09%.
Because the company is relatively new and has no income, there is little focus on analysts. Still, eight of the nine analysts who track the stock have a positive rating, while the ninth is neutral.
In December, Freyr announced a partnership with Cambridge, Massachusetts-based 24M Technologies and Volkswagen (OTCMKTS:VWAGY) to produce the next generation of lithium-ion EV batteries using 24M’s SemiSolid platform. The partnership aims to develop production technology for SemiSolid battery cells for Volkswagen electric vehicles.
“Developing next-generation EV battery cells based on 24M technology is a critical part of Freyr’s long-term strategy to accelerate the adoption of affordable EVs,” said Freyr CEO Tom Jensen, in a release announcing the partnership.
To further reinforce Freyr’s commitment to the EV battery partnership, the company opened an office in Boston in August along with 24M. It also opened a factory in Japan, which, not coincidentally, is home to several major car manufacturers.
Though not confirmed, Freyr is reportedly in talks to build a lithium battery plant in the US. The company is said to have reduced its selection criteria to five locations.
As you might expect, Freyr will likely benefit from tax breaks built into the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act.
The company is in startup mode and has merged with a SPAC, Alussa Energy Acquisition Corp., to list on the NYSE. It’s a bit of a unicorn, as many fusions of the SPAC tree have failed.
Freyr is still pre-earnings and earnings, as it is funded by private equity and public markets. However, there was much cause for optimism in the company’s second-quarter report in August.
For example, it plans to replicate the model of the upcoming Norwegian factory. It also expects more technology licensing deals, as well as partnerships with developers of complementary technologies, such as 24M.
In addition, the company has maintained its capacity guideline through 2030, based on supply and demand dynamics in its core markets.
Freyr is one of those stocks that seems well positioned for future growth, although it is not currently a leader when it comes to fundamentals. In addition to plans for organic growth, companies like Freyr often grow organically and ultimately position themselves as acquisition candidates. It wouldn’t be surprising to see different ways shareholders can be rewarded.