What happened

Shares of Lithium Americas (NYSE:LAC), a Canada-based development-stage lithium mining company, declined 14.1% in March, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence.

For context, the S&P 500 index returned 4.4% last month.

Two lithium-ion battery packs laying on a flat surface.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

We can probably attribute the pullback in Lithium Americas stock last month to a combination of its typical volatility and a Wall Street analyst lowering her price target. As to the former, given how fast the stock has run up over the last year (as the chart below shows), some investors likely decided to take some profits. March's 14% pullback is small relative to the stock's gain over the last year. 

On March 3, shares declined about 11% following a move by Canaccord Genuity analyst Katie Lachapelle. She maintained the firm's buy rating on the stock but slightly lowered the price target to 30.5 Canadian dollars, or about $24 per share. For context, the stock closed at $14.75 on April 7.

The main takeaway: Lithium Americas didn't release any news last month that materially alters its prospects.

As I previously wrote, in January, the company's Thacker Pass lithium project in Nevada achieved a key milestone: The U.S. Bureau of Land Management issued a Record of Decision for this project following completion of the National Environmental Policy Act process. It expects to receive all remaining state permits and water-right transfers later this year.

LAC Chart

Data by YCharts.

Now what

Lithium is needed to produce the batteries that power electric vehicles (EVs). Given the powerful long-term projected growth of EVs, it's likely there'll be some winners among companies in the EV supply chain, such as those that produce or process lithium or make lithium-ion batteries.

That said, as I've previously written, Lithium Americas stock "remains speculative since the company isn't yet mining any lithium for commercial sale. So, only investors who are quite risk-tolerant should consider buying it."

 
This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.