Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA)’s Growth Is Pushing Hedge Funds Towards Lithium Stocks

#4. Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile (ADR) (NYSE:SQM)

– Hedge Funds with Long Positions (as of June 30): 17

– Value of Hedge Funds’ Holdings (as of June 30): $79.11 Million

Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile (ADR) (NYSE:SQM) received a great deal of attention from the segment of the hedge fund industry monitored by our team during the second quarter, as the number of funds with long positions in the company jumped to 17 from 11 quarter-on-quarter. The aggregate value of those positions increased by 47% quarter-over-quarter to $79.11million, partly due to a 23% increase in the value of SQM’s American Depositary Shares. The integrated producer of specialty plant nutrients, iodine, lithium, potassium-related fertilizers and industrial chemicals has seen the value of its ADS increase by 35% since the beginning of the year. Earlier this month, Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile announced plans to increase its lithium hydroxide capacity in Chile from 6,000 metric tons per year to 13,500 metric tons per year, citing market demand growth. SQM plans to increase efficiencies at its current facility near Antofagasta, which will increase the current plant capacity to 6,500 metric tons per year from 6,000 metric tons per year. Moreover, the company also plans to build a new plant with a capacity of 7,000 metric tons per year. Steven Cohen’s Point72 Asset Management added a 595,400-share stake in Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile (ADR) (NYSE:SQM) to its portfolio during the second quarter.

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#3. EnerSys (NYSE:ENS)

– Hedge Funds with Long Positions (as of June 30): 22

– Value of Hedge Funds’ Holdings (as of June 30): $102.28 Million

The hedge fund sentiment towards EnerSys (NYSE:ENS) increased during the April-to-June period, given that the number of asset managers from our system with stakes in the company rose to 22 from 14 quarter-over-quarter. Similarly, the overall value of those stakes increased by 62% quarter-on-quarter to $102.28 million, also reflecting an increase of 7% in the value of EnerSys shares. While Tesla’s promising growth appears to represent a strong catalyst for lithium producers, EnerSys might represent a loser as a result of Tesla’s aggressive move to capitalize on increased demand in the backup power, stationary storage, and grid-level end-markets (Tesla’s world’s largest battery-making facility will not solely target the electrical-vehicle market). EnerSys, the world’s largest manufacturer, marketer and distributor of industrial batteries, has seen its market capitalization rise by 21% year-to-date. Will Tesla’s Gigafactory be a disruptive game-changer for competitors such as EnerSys? Only time will tell. Royce & Associates, founded by Chuck Royce, reported ownership of 689,900 shares of EnerSys (NYSE:ENS) in its 13F for the second quarter.

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