Bitcoin reached a record high on Wednesday which resulted in a spectacular rally in cryptocurrency mining stocks, such as Hut 8 Mining (HUT) and Marathon Digital (MARA). That’s because stock prices of crypto mining stocks are closely related to the digital asset they mine.
Since the start of 2020, shares of Hut 8 Mining have gained more than 1,300% in cumulative returns. Comparatively, Marathon Digital has returned a staggering 5,670% to investors in less than two years. In this period, Bitcoin prices have surged by less than 1,000% in this period.
If you’re bullish on Bitcoin over the long term, you might want to consider investing in Hut 8 Mining or Marathon Digital. Today I’ll analyze both of these stocks to determine which I believe is currently the better investment.
The bull case for Hut 8 Mining
In case you want to mine your cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin, you will need to invest over $10,000 to purchase mining equipment (read machines with high computing power).
Alternatively, you can invest in companies such as Hut 8 Mining that have already set up mining rigs over the years. In fact, Hut 8 is now looking to scale up mining operations which will more than double its hash rate.
Hut 8 Mining confirmed it mines between 12 and 18 bitcoins each day. At current prices, it will mine between $725,000 and $1 million worth of bitcoins per day. The rising prices of cryptocurrencies allowed Hut 8 to increase revenue by 263.5% year over year to $33.55 million. Its operating income more than tripled to $8.12 million.
At the end of Q2, it owned 4,450 bitcoins valued at $278 million right now. But, unlike other crypto miners, Hut 8 does not sell all the digital assets mined by the company. It further increases shareholder returns by lending a portion of these digital assets and earns close to 6.2% in interest payments each year, compounding its total gains in the process.
Valued at a market cap of $1.9 billion, Hut 8 Mining is forecast to increase its revenue by 331% to $175.36 million in 2021 and by 116% to $379 million in 2022. Comparatively, its earnings per share are forecast to increase from $0.06 in 2020 to $0.89 in 2022, making it one of the cheapest mining stocks in the crypto space.
The bull case for Marathon Digital
A stock that has crushed the broader market in the last two years, Marathon Digital Holdings is currently valued at a market cap of $5.15 billion. At the start of 2021, the company raised $200 million to solidify its balance sheet and boost liquidity. It then raised $250 million in a few weeks to purchase 4,800 bitcoins worth $150 million. Today, its investment will be worth more than $300 million.
The company ended Q2 with close to $350 million in cash and it remains debt-free. It also aims to increase the hash rate to 10 exahashes per second in 2022, up from 1.4 EH/s in early 2021, improving mining capabilities significantly.
In the first six months of 2021, Marathon Digital mined 846 Bitcoins and with its current hash rate of 2 EH/s, this number will increase to 200 bitcoins each month.
Analysts tracking the stock expect Marathon Digital to increase sales by 5,000% to $225 million in 2021 and by 250% to $790 million in 2022. This rapid expansion in revenue will allow the company to improve earnings per share to $4.16 in 2022 from a loss per share of $0.12 in 2020.
The final verdict
We can see how rising cryptocurrency prices have allowed Marathon Digital and Hut 8 Mining to accelerate top-line growth in recent months. But investors should also understand that these growth estimates can easily trend lower in the case of a sell-off in the crypto world. Right now, I believe Hut 8’s lower valuation metrics make it a better stock compared to Marathon Digital.
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HUT shares were trading at $11.10 per share on Friday afternoon, down $0.59 (-5.05%). Year-to-date, HUT has gained 303.64%, versus a 22.40% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.
About the Author: Aditya Raghunath
Aditya Raghunath is a financial journalist who writes about business, public equities, and personal finance. His work has been published on several digital platforms in the U.S. and Canada, including The Motley Fool, Finscreener, and Market Realist. More...
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