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Why Marathon Digital, CleanSpark, and TeraWulf Are Heading to the Moon Today

In Business
May 06, 2024

Cryptocurrency miners are seeing incredible interest in today’s session. Shares of Marathon Digital (NASDAQ: MARA), CleanSpark (NASDAQ: CLSK), and TeraWulf (NASDAQ: WULF) are up 19.2%, 10.7%, and 10.4%, respectively, as of 1:15 p.m. ET.

Of course, the moves in these top Bitcoin miners have a lot to do with Bitcoin’s price action in recent days. Since dropping below the $57,000 mark to start this month, Bitcoin has rallied back above $65,000 earlier in today’s session. At these levels, Bitcoin is within roughly 10% of its all-time high, and appears to be building upside momentum. That’s great for Bitcoin miners like Marathon, CleanSpark, and TeraWulf that generate their revenue in Bitcoin, with expenses denominated in dollars.

That said, there are also plenty of individual company-specific catalysts driving these stocks higher today. Let’s dive into what’s responsible for the big moves we’re seeing in these crypto stocks today.

Crypto miners see big moves ahead of earnings and other key catalysts

Marathon Digital and CleanSpark are set to report their latest quarterly reports this Thursday, with TeraWulf’s results coming next Monday. So, we’re now less than a week away from seeing how these crypto miners have performed in what’s been an interesting year for Bitcoin and related stocks. And while anticipation around soaring Bitcoin prices tied to the recent halving have abated somewhat, it’s clear that recent price momentum in the Bitcoin world is spurring interest in these stocks heading into their reports.

One of the key catalysts that appears to be driving these Bitcoin mining stocks higher today is news that capital inflows into spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) on Friday amounted to $378 million. This surge in capital flowing into Bitcoin appears to be at least partly responsible for the token’s impressive move over the weekend, driving outsize momentum for this token to the upside.

For Marathon Digital in particular, one of the more closely watched Bitcoin miners of the group, there are a number of key news items to discuss that appear to be behind this company’s impressive surge. The company announced its plans today to enhance its existing long-term incentive program for employees, a move many expect could yield better retention rates and drive even more talent to the company’s team. And it’s important to note that despite a rising Bitcoin price and intriguing HR strategy, the company was recently demoted out of the S&P 500 and into the S&P SmallCap 600.

For TeraWulf and CleanSpark, some intriguing artificial intelligence (AI)-related investments in computing capacity appear to be behind these companies’ moves. Bitcoin mining companies have added a tremendous amount of computing power to their networks with a singular goal of producing Bitcoin (by validating transactions and securing the network). However, any unused spare capacity may be directed elsewhere, and the pivot some of these companies are making toward other high-growth areas suggests investors may be buying into this diversification strategy right now.

Is this rally sustainable?

Much of today’s rally appears to be a catch-up trade to the move Bitcoin has made over the weekend. Bitcoin has now given up roughly $2,000 on its peak hit late last night and early this morning, but is still within $10,000 or so of its all-time high. If Bitcoin continues to inch higher, and interest around crypto miners (as potential AI plays) picks up, it’s entirely possible this space could see a new lease on life.

It’s been generally my view that Bitcoin miners may make sense as near-term trades, or as higher-beta ways to play a crypto bull market over a specified period of time. But it’s also my view that over the very long term, it’s likely to be the case that greater consolidation and fewer players in this sector (due to unprofitable players being pushed out) may make most companies losing bets. This is an increasingly competitive space, and one that is requiring certain Bitcoin miners to rethink their strategies.

Maybe there is an AI angle here after all — that may warrant a deeper look on my part. For now, these stocks remain hot, and it will be interesting to see how these companies perform following this week’s earnings announcements.

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Chris MacDonald has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Bitcoin. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Why Marathon Digital, CleanSpark, and TeraWulf Are Heading to the Moon Today was originally published by The Motley Fool

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