Incident: Volume and price surged, and performance exceeded expectations. On March 30, the company disclosed its 2022 annual results report. Revenue of 40.5 billion yuan was achieved in 2022, +428% year on year. Among them, lithium mine business revenue was 15.4 billion yuan, +484% year on year, lithium salt business revenue was 25 billion yuan, +398% year on year; net profit of Fumo was 24.1 billion yuan, up 10.7 times year on year; net profit after deducting non-Gumo's net profit was 23.1 billion yuan, an increase of 16.3 times over the previous year. In addition, the company announced a profit distribution plan to distribute a cash dividend of 30 yuan for every 10 shares.
The sharp increase in performance over the previous month was mainly due to a sharp rise in the volume and price of lithium salt, and SQM's investment income rose again. Benefiting from the growing boom in new energy vehicles around the world, production capacity of lithium-ion battery manufacturers, cathode material factories, etc. has accelerated, and demand for lithium continues to rise. The sales volume and average sales price of the company's lithium products in 2022 both increased significantly compared to the same period last year. In the first half of the year, the average price of the Terrison Group was 1,770 US dollars/ton, which increased to 4,187 US dollars/ton in the second half of the year. Furthermore, considering the sharp increase in the 2022 performance of SQM, an important affiliate of the company holding 26% of the company's shares, confirmed investment income of 5.6 billion yuan. The COGS cost for the third quarter of 2022 for Greenbush Lithium Mine, owned by Terrison, was only 660 US dollars/ton (253 US dollars/ton after excluding equity), and the low-cost mine contributed strong performance support to the company.
Production of high-quality resources has been steadily expanded, and the extension layout of the middle and downstream is progressing at an accelerated pace. 1) Resource side: Greenately (26%) currently has a lithium concentrate production capacity of 1.62 million tons, and is expected to reach 2.14 million tons in 2025, with a long-term plan of 2.66 million tons; Yajiang Cuola (100%) is studying the feasibility of restarting a spodumene mining plant; Atacama Salt Lake, a subsidiary of SQM (22%), plans to expand production to 210,000 tons of LCE in 2023, reaching 240,000 tons of LCE in 2024; Mt Holland's 350,000 tons of lithium concentrate will be put into operation in 2023Q4, and 50,000 tons of lithium hydroxide will be put into operation in 2024 Q4 Production started. 2) Midstream: With Quinana's first phase (51%) project being put into trial production, lithium salt production capacity reached 69,000 tons, and the planned production capacity of lithium salt reached more than 110,000 tons in the future; 3) Downstream: In 2022, the company and Beijing Weilan established Tianqi Weilan Solid Lithium New Materials (59%) to engage in R&D, production and sales of pre-lithiated manufacturing equipment products; as a cornerstone investor, China Innovation Airlines invested about 50 million US dollars in China Innovation Aviation's H share IPO, while China Innovation Airlines invested about 50 million US dollars in the company's IPO as a cornerstone investor. Downstream companies cooperate to extend lithium The layout of the electrical industry chain.
Lithium prices are under pressure under the pattern of strong supply and demand, and the 2023-2025 lithium price assumption is carefully lowered. Consumers' wait-and-see sentiment increased under the sharp price reduction of fuel vehicles and local subsidy policies. Coupled with the removal of orders from midstream warehouses, the overall market recovery fell below previous expectations, and lithium prices fell due to a weak pattern of strong supply and demand. The average price of 2023Q1 lithium salt is 426,000 yuan/ton. Currently, battery-grade lithium carbonate sells for 208,000 yuan/ton. Strong supply and demand are weak, so far there is no significant benefit in lithium prices. Assume that the 2023-2025 lithium salt price (excluding tax) is 22/16/160,000 yuan/ton.
Investment advice: Lithium prices decline in a pattern of strong supply and demand, and carefully revise the 2023-2025 lithium price assumption. Net profit attributable to the mother for 2023-2025 is estimated to be 165/129/136 billion yuan, corresponding to PE 7.8/10.0/9.4 times, respectively. The company has high-quality mining resources in Australia. It has a cost advantage and great potential to expand production on the resource side. It has growth attributes and maintains the company's “buy” rating.
Risk warning: production capacity investment falls short of expectations, downstream demand falls short of expectations, technology path changes, demand space measurement errors.