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MP Materials (MP) Receives $58.5M for Rare Earth Magnet Facility

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MP Materials (MP - Free Report) announced that it received a $58.5-million award to advance the construction of its fully integrated rare earth magnet manufacturing facility. This will be the first of its kind facility in the United States, with a capacity to produce approximately 1,000 tons of Neodymium-iron-boron (NdFeB) magnets annually.

MP Materials began construction on its manufacturing site in Fort Worth, TX, in April 2022. It plans to start the commercial production of precursor materials in Fort Worth in the summer of 2024 and the production of finished magnets in late 2025.

The IRS and Treasury issued the Section 48C Advanced Energy Project tax credit allocation following a competitive, oversubscribed process overseen by the Department of Energy. The Department of Energy assessed the technical and commercial viability, and the environmental and community impact of approximately 250 projects.

NdFeB magnets, the world's most powerful and efficient permanent magnets, are found in electric motors and generators that power hybrid and electric vehicles, robots, wind turbines, drones, electronics and key defense systems. Global demand for these magnets is projected to triple by 2035.

MP will receive raw materials for the factory from Mountain Pass, CA, where it owns and runs America's only scaled and operational rare earth mine and separation facility. At the facility, NdPr oxide produced at Mountain Pass will be reduced to NdPr metal. It will then be transformed into NdFeB alloy and finished magnets, resulting in an end-to-end supply chain with integrated recycling and world-class sustainability.

MP will supply these goods to General Motors (GM - Free Report) to support North America EV production. GM is the company's primary customer.

MP Materials reported an adjusted loss per share of 5 cents in fourth-quarter 2023, in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. The company reported an earnings per share of 39 cents in the fourth quarter of 2022. Earnings were impacted by lower prices and sales volumes in the quarter.

The company generated revenues of $41 million in fourth-quarter 2023 , reflecting a year-over-year slump of 56%. The top line missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $47 million. This weaker-than-expected performance was due to lower volumes and realized sales prices of rare earth oxide in concentrate.

Price Performance

In the past year, MP Materials’ shares have lost 46.3% against the industry’s 5.5%.


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Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

MP Materials currently sports a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

Some better-ranked stocks from the basic materials space are Ecolab Inc. (ECL - Free Report) and Hawkins, Inc. (HWKN - Free Report) . ECL sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) at present and HWKN has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Ecolab’s 2024 earnings is pegged at $6.39 per share, indicating an increase of 22.7% from the prior year’s reported number. It has an average trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 1.7%. ECL shares have gained 41.8% in a year.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Hawkins’ fiscal 2024 earnings is pegged at $3.61 per share, indicating a year-over-year rise of 26.2%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for HWKN’s current-year earnings has been revised 4.3% north in the past 60 days. It has an average trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 30.6%. The company’s shares have rallied 70% in the past year.

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