天齐锂业(002466):业绩亮眼 优质资源或奠定长期竞争优势

Tianqi Lithium (002466): Outstanding performance, high-quality resources may establish a long-term competitive advantage

安信證券 ·  04/06  · Researches

The company released its 2022 annual report:

Tianqi Lithium achieved revenue of 40.45 billion yuan in 2022, an increase of 427.8% over the previous year. Net profit for the full year of 2022 was 24.13 billion yuan, an increase of 1060.5% over the previous year; net profit of non-return mothers was 23.06 billion yuan, an increase of 1628.9% over the previous year. Among them, revenue for Q4 2022 was 15.80 billion yuan, an increase of 317.0% over the previous year and an increase of 52.7% over the previous year; the net profit of Guimo was 8.14 billion yuan, an increase of 425.8% over the previous year, an increase of 44.1% over the previous year; net profit of the non-return mother was 8.14 billion yuan, an increase of 459.0% over the previous year, an increase of 44.3% over the previous year.

The volume and price of the main business have risen sharply, and investment income has increased dramatically:

The volume and price of Greenbush concentrates have risen sharply. (1) Volume: Tianqi Lithium holds 22.16% of the shares in the Greenbush Lithium Mine. The Greenbush lithium concentrate produced 1,348,600 tons in 2022, an increase of 41.36% over the previous year. According to the announcement, lithium concentrate production was determined by the company and Abbott, and sales reached 759 million tons in '22, an increase of 37.7% over the previous year. (2) Price: The price per ton of lithium concentrate in 2022 was 20,300 yuan/ton, up 324.05% from the previous year. Starting in 2023, the company's price adjustment cycle changed from half a year to a quarter. Referring to the average price of the four price reporting agencies (PRA), the Australian FOB price minus a 5% bulk sales discount price was quoted. IGO expects the PRA price of chemical-grade spodumene sold in 2023Q1 at $5957 per ton (FOB). (3) Cost: There was an increase in lithium concentrate mining costs in 2022, mainly due to the increase in royalties as concentrate sales increased.

The license fee for a single ton of lithium concentrate reached 494 Australian dollars/ton in Q4 2022, up 238.36% and 21.38% year-on-year and month-on-month respectively. The gross profit of lithium concentrate per ton in 2022 was 18,500 yuan/ton, an increase of 393.91% over the previous year.

The lithium compounds and derivatives business saw a sharp rise in volume and price in 2022. (1) Volume: In 2022, the company sold 58,800 tons of lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide, an increase of 23.26% over the previous year. In addition, at the end of 2022, the company had 2928.6 tons of lithium compounds and derivatives in stock, an increase of 150.78% over the previous year. (2) Price: The average price of the company's lithium salt business in 2022 was 425,200 yuan/ton, an increase of 304.35% over the previous year. The average prices of WIND lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonate excluding tax during the same period were 46.12 and 482,400 yuan/ton in that order. The company's sales price was close to the market price. (3) Gross profit and cost:

The cost of the company's lithium salt per ton in 2022 was 74,900 yuan/ton, an increase of 71.12% over the previous year, mainly due to the increase in the price of Greenbush concentrate and the company's existence of a certain generation of processed products. Overall, the gross profit per ton of the company's lithium salt products in 2022 was 354,400 yuan/ton, which is quite impressive.

SQM's profit soared in 2022, which led to a significant increase in the company's investment income. The total investment income of the company in 2022 was 7.846 billion yuan, an increase of 436.90% over the previous year, of which the long-term equity investment income calculated by SQM's contribution equity method was 5.641 billion yuan. Furthermore, in '22, the company completed the settlement of all options contracts, and actually delivered 4,526,800 SQM Class B shares, and finally confirmed investment income of 734 million yuan. At the same time, the participating company SES was successfully listed on the New York Stock Exchange on February 4, and investment income of 1,204 million yuan was calculated during the accounting processing process.

The five-year strategic target for smelting production capacity is 300,000 tons. High-quality resources may establish cost advantages. In terms of upstream lithium resources, the company owns Greenbush Lithium Mine and participates in SQM, etc. According to the announcement, the company's total resources are now converted to 607.92 million tons of LCE, and the amount of equity resources converted to 14.42 million tons of LCE. The company's lithium mine development is mainly focused on Australia's Greenbush Mine and China's Sichuan Yajiang Cuola Mine, while also participating in SQM Atacama Salt Lake. The Sichuan Yajiang Cuola Lithium Mine is a resource reserve. It is currently in the feasibility study stage and has not yet been developed.

In terms of midstream lithium compounds, the company currently has a production capacity of 68,800 tons/year. According to the announcement, the company has announced a lithium chemical production capacity of more than 110,000 tons, and the strategic plan for the next 5 years has an annual production capacity of 300,000 tons. Currently, the company has four major lithium chemical production bases in Shehong, Sichuan, Tongliang in Chongqing, Zhangjiagang in Jiangsu, and Quinana Phase I in Australia. The construction of a 20,000 ton lithium carbonate production line in Anju, Sichuan is progressing in an orderly manner. It is expected that construction will be completed in the second half of '23 and enter the commissioning stage. In Q3 2022, battery grade lithium hydroxide production at the Quinana plant increased to 195 tons, including 100 tons of battery grade lithium hydroxide. The Quinana plant reached commercial production capacity on November 30, 2022. In December 2022, Quinana completed its first commercial sale, selling 9 tons of lithium hydroxide at market price.

The company expects the investment decision for the second production line to be completed in fiscal year 2023.

Investment advice:

The estimated revenue for 2023-2025 is 408.98, 274.27, and 31,914 billion yuan respectively, and the estimated net profit is 149.46, 111.12, and 12.951 billion yuan. The corresponding EPS is 9.11, 6.77, and 7.89 yuan/share, respectively. The current stock price corresponds to PE 8.5, 11.4, and 9.8 times. The company's rating was maintained at the “Buy-A” rating, and the target price for 6 months was adjusted to 92 yuan/share.

Risk warning: demand fell short of expectations, lithium prices fluctuated greatly, and project progress fell short of expectations.

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