Spring has sprung. Trees are starting to bud, and flowers are beginning to bloom. With spring fever growing, though, we're also reminded of something less pleasing: the deadline to file taxes. This reminder of what's owed to Uncle Sam may have some of us thinking more deeply about the U.S. and, in turn, ways to increase exposure to U.S. stocks.
A leader in the field of synthetic biology, Amyris is a California-based company dedicated to cultivating sustainable ingredients for use in various consumer products from the beauty, food and beverage, and healthcare industries. Plummeting nearly 74% over the past year, shares of Amyris suffered a particularly steep decline in November when a flurry of factors -- including a weak earnings report -- led investors to click the sell button.
But the stock's poor performance is hardly reason to dismiss it altogether. In fact, the company may report news in the next few weeks that could reinvigorate interest in this cutting-edge technology business. Like so many companies, Amyris has recently suffered supply-chain challenges, but it may be close to mitigating those headwinds. Management confirmed on the fourth-quarter 2021 conference call that the company is "on track for the start of production early in the second quarter" of a new ingredients plant in Brazil.
Amyris has already commenced operations -- ahead of schedule -- at a new consumer products plant in Nevada, thereby increasing the resilience of its supply chain. Should the company report the start of operations at the facility in Brazil in the coming weeks, it could be a catalyst for the stock to head higher.
2. MP Materials
Headquartered in Nevada, MP Materials owns and operates Mountain Pass Rare Earth Mine and Processing Facility in California. Wait. Isn't that the Golden State? Yes, it is, and if this were the 1800s, we'd be talking about that yellow metal, but today, in 2022, we're focused on rare earth metals, indispensable materials found in electric vehicle (EV) batteries, wind turbines, and a variety of military applications, such as guidance and control systems. MP Materials contends that "Mountain Pass is one of the richest deposits of rare earth elements in the world," and the company argues, consequently, that it's the largest producer of rare earth materials in the Western Hemisphere.
MP Materials is of particular interest this month after last week's news that President Biden intends to invoke the Defense Production Act to shore up the country's supply of materials used in EVs. According to the United States Geological Survey, China is the predominant source of rare earth metals. In 2021, for example, China's 168,000 tons of rare earths production represented 60% of global production. With geopolitical tensions running high, MP Materials affords the U.S. the unparalleled opportunity to help secure the nation's supply of rare earth metals.
The past few months have been disappointing for Rivian's shareholders, and that's in sharp contrast to where the stock was after its debut on the public market. Since they touched their 52-week high last November, shares have taken a 74% nosedive. As with Amyris, there is a plethora of factors that pushed the stock lower, including supply-chain woes. However, the EV stock shouldn't be forsaken, and investors who are currently on the sidelines will want to watch the stock closely over the next few weeks.
One item that Rivian may address is deliveries of its electric delivery van (EDV) to Amazon. Rivian made the first deliveries to Amazon -- of an initial 100,000-unit order -- at the end of 2021, and management stated in its Q4 2021 letter to shareholders that it plans on ramping up production and delivering the EDVs during Q2. If the company reports success in this endeavor, it could help assuage investors' frustration at the company's reduced production forecast.
The All-American takeaway
For growth stock-minded investors who are interested in U.S.-based companies, Amyris, MP Materials, and Rivian are all worthy considerations. None of these names are for the faint of heart. Yet, MP Materials -- unlike Amyris and Rivian -- is arguably the best choice for those wary of risk since it generates positive, operational cash flow.