Russia Stoking Action
The Biden Administration is pushing to support a $4.3 billion plan to purchase enriched uranium from domestic producers to wean off Russian importers. Germany is considering postponing closures of three nuclear plants ahead of possible energy shortages stemming from Russia’s lowered gas supplies.
The Most Efficient Clean Energy
According to the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), the U.S. was able to avoid the equivalent of 100 million cars worth of carbon dioxide emissions or over 471 million metric tons in 2020, by using nuclear energy. It produces more energy on less land than any other clean air sources and 360 times less land area than wind turbines and 75 times less land than solar photovoltaic plants. In comparison, three million solar panels or 430 wind turbines would be needed to generate the same power from a typical nuclear reactor. For believers in nuclear energy investment, here are three uranium stocks to consider to heat up your portfolio.
Cameco Energy (NYSE: CCJ)
This Canadian company is the blue chip play in uranium. Cameco Energy is the world’s largest uranium miner and producer selling its products to nuclear plants throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia. The Company raised its 2024 production target citing growing demand for nuclear fuel. The Company reported Q2 2022 earnings of CC$0.18, beating analyst estimates for CC$0.01 by CC$0.17 as revenues rose 55.4% to CC$558 million versus CC$494.8 million analyst estimates. The Company added 45 million pounds to its long-term uranium contracts in 2022. It also has 455 million pounds of proven and probable mineral reserves and $1.4 billion in cash and cash equivalents with an untapped $1 billion revolver. Cameco Energy CEO Tim Gitzel commented on its conference call, “In the drive for a clean energy profile, policy makers and business leaders must recognize that there is a need to balance affordability and security. Too much focus on intermittent, weather dependent, renewable energy, has left some jurisdictions struggling with power shortages and spiking energy prices, or dependence on Russian energy supplies. The good news for us is that many are turning to nuclear – which provides safe, reliable, affordable, carbon-free baseload electricity while also offering energy security and independence.”
Energy Fuels (NASDAQ: UUUU)
Based out of Colorado, the Company owns and operates projects located in Wyoming, Texas and the only licensed uranium mill in the country in Utah, the White Mesa Mill. It claims to be the largest uranium producer in the U.S since 2017. The Company also holds interest in uranium properties in New Mexico, Arizona, and Colorado. In addition to uranium, Energy Fuels also specializes in rare earths materials. Its White Mesa Mills plant separates the radioactive material from monazite to extract uranium and rare earth materials and is licensed to store the radioactive waste. This is a clean energy play that also includes rare earths elements (REE) which are essential in electric vehicle (EV) batteries, fiber optics, cell phones, and wind turbine magnets. In December 2020, President Trump allocated $75 million to begin the process of building a U.S. uranium reserve under a 10-year implementation plan. Energy Fuels CEO, Mark Chalmers commented, “Any funds used through a Department of Energy program to purchase uranium from the White Mesa Mill can have a ‘multiplier effect’, by not only supporting the domestic uranium mining industry, but also by advancing other important clean energy priorities, including rare earth production.” The Company has 28.6 million of inventories including uranium and vanadium with $86.4 million in cash and zero debt. Between Cameco (25 million Lbs.) and Energy Fuels (15.6 million Lbs.), 86% of all U.S. uranium is produced by assets owned by the two companies.
Uranium Energy Corp. (NYSE: UEC)
This is the most speculative of the bunch. Texas-based Uranium Energy Corp. owns interests in mines in the U.S., Canada, and Paraguay. It holds 1.7 million pounds of uranium inventory and an estimated 42 million pounds at its 118,000 acre Wyoming projects. The uranium was not mined but acquired through various acquisitions like the American arm of Russia’s Uranium One it acquired in December 2021 for $112 million in cash. In fact, the Company has not actively started up its mining operations. It recently announced on Aug. 5, 2022, its intention to acquire UEX Corp. of Canada with a higher offer than Dennison Mines (NASDAQ: DNN). UEX is as exploration and development company with only 8 employees but owns the West Bear property measuring nearly 7,983 hectares in Wollaston Lake area of north Saskatchewan. With no actual mining revenues or operations, this one is more of an asset play.