The IGO Ltd (ASX: IGO) share price went into a meltdown after it released it latest quarter report today.
The IGO share price tumbled 3.5% in morning trade to $6.56 – its lowest level in 2021. In contrast, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (Index:^AXJO) lost 2.5% while other miners are also in the hole.
The Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG) share price lost 3.5% to $22.85, BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP) shed 1.8% to $44.22 and OZ Minerals Limited (ASX: OZL) share price gave up 4% to $18.38 at the time of writing.
IGO share price dragged lower by sentiment
This tells me that the sell-off in the IGO share price is probably more to do with market sentiment than its quarterly, although there were a few black spots in its report.
For one, production at its flagship Nova mine was down. Nickel output dipped to 7,024 tonnes in the December quarter compared to 7,276 tons in the previous quarter.
Copper at the mine was also weaker at 3,171 tonnes vs. 3,278 tonnes in the three months to end September 2020.
Underlying earnings before interest and tax (EBITDA) was also a little weaker at $120.9 million in 2QFY21 compared to $121.4 million in preceding three months.
Bad news not that bad
However, the earnings dip is largely due to exchange rates and hedging. If anything, cash from operating activities improved 20% to $132 million. This is largely a result of increased revenue receipts from Nova and its Tropicana joint venture gold mine.
Management also pointed out that Nova’s cash costs fell 15 cents to $2.10 per pound of nickel in the latest quarter.
Meanwhile, gold output at Tropicana was up 5% to 112,050 ounces with all-in sustaining costs (AISC) staying largely flat at $1,537 an ounce.
Bigger driver for the IGO share price
But the production figures are really a sideshow in many respects. The recent surge in the IGO share price is due to its deal to buy a stake in Tianqi Lithium Corporation’s lithium mine and processing plant.
In case you haven’t heard, the global electrification of vehicles is a real thing. With the latest transaction, IGO now owns a quarter of the Greenbushes Lithium Operation in Western Australia. Greenbushes is the largest and lowest cost hard rock lithium mine in the world.
IGO also picked up a 49% interest in the Kwinana Lithium Hydroxide Plant.
Profit takers delight
The miner undertook a $766 million capital raising to help fund the transaction. Today’s sell-off in the IGO may also have something to do with the fact that management priced the new shares at $4.60 a pop.
This leaves a lot of room for profit taking, and I see today’s share price weakness as nothing more sinister than that.
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