Liquidmetal Technologies Inc (OTCMKTS:LQMT) is up close to 250% year to date, currently trading for a market cap just shy of $200 million. The company is a strange one – the gains have come primarily on the back of rumored integration of its lead technology in some big name tech devices, including the iPhone and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) Macbook’s, but we’re yet to see any confirmation of anything like this (indeed, there’s evidence that seems to suggest the opposite). Even against a backdrop of opacity, however, and with no major product announcements confirmed, the company continues to run.
So, what could be behind the gains, if there’s nothing yet confirmed?
Well, there’s some degree of self fulfillment in play, we think. Markets see the company gaining strength, and assume it’s gaining because of some big product launch just around the corner. Speculative volume flows in, and the cycle begins again.
While not a risk-free strategy, there’s plenty to be said for getting in on these momentum style runs – especially at this end of the market. Liquidmetal has been known to pop up in the past, and as the recent runs show, there’s reward on offer from an exposure to these pops.
What about longer term, however?
Well, we’re as in the dark as every one else on this one, but there are a few hints that could underpin a bias. The first, it’s probably safe to say that the iPhone is off the table for now. Management said in a recent call that the Apple contract hasn’t renewed (been out of contract since Q2) and that they would let shareholders know if it did renew at any point. There’s been no announcement to that end, so we’re looking elsewhere for target applications.
The second, there’s a recently closed (as of last month) financing on the books, which saw the company issue 300 million shares of common stock for an aggregate purchase price of $55 million, comprised of 200 million shares at $0.15 per share and 100 million shares at $0.25 per share. This came on the back of an initial financing, bringing the total raised to $63.4 million. The cash came from Professor Lugee Li, by way of an entity called Liquidmetal Technology Limited, and basically serves to both finance LQMT’s ongoing operations in what is an essentially non toxic injection, and bridge the gap between LQMT and Li’s company, EONTEC, which is a Hong Kong listed metals and resistant materials company.
Forget Apple, this is where the growth is going to come from, and it’s what we’re looking at near term as supporting the growth seen over the last few months.
So we’ve got a incredibly well capitalized company with a just formed synergistic partnership with a successful Chinese entity – here’s where it gets interesting. The company has announced a conference call and investor update, set to take place on December 15, 2016. Here’s all the PR says about the call’s planned content:
…(LQMT will host a call) to outline recent events as well as provide guidance on the future goals of the company. Liquidmetal Technologies Board Chairman Lugee Li will host the call.
The notable thing here is that Li, who is now Board Chairman post-investment, is hosting the call. We think he’s going to serve up some clarity as to the driver behind the equity purchase, and let markets know where the company is focusing its efforts near term. If, as the current loading ahead of the call implies, this focus is lucrative (and we’ve every reason to think it will be, now Li is spearheading efforts) then there’s plenty more upside on offer as things mature.
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Disclosure: We have no position in LQMT and have not been compensated for this article.