Investing

Earnings Preview: Meten

Two of the country’s largest department store chains (Kohl’s and Macy’s) reported quarterly results before markets opened on Thursday. Both topped estimates, and both traded higher shortly after the opening bell, helping propel the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq to solid openings. Two tech stocks that reported Wednesday afternoon fared less well, with Cisco Systems missing on revenue and cutting guidance, while Nvidia beat on both the top and bottom lines. Cisco’s disappointing report weighed on the Dow Jones industrials in early trading.

After markets close Thursday or before they open on Friday, four more firms will be reporting earnings: Applied Materials, Foot Locker, Ross Stores and Workday.

There are no interesting earnings out after markets close Friday, and Monday is off to a slow start with just one worth noting. The holiday-shortened week coming up does include more retailers, and we’ll have more coverage of those beginning tomorrow.

In the spring of this year, the Chinese government restricted some activities of Chinese companies that listed shares on foreign exchanges. Popular education and tutoring companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq suffered a double whammy when the government also forbade them from teaching the curricula offered in the country’s schools.

Last week, the government was said to have plans to license more than a dozen companies to offer after-school tutoring services. It is not likely that Meten Holding Group Ltd. (NASDAQ: METX) will be among them.

In an effort to turn a bag of lemons into lemonade, Meten said in early September that it was transitioning to a blockchain and cryptocurrency business “to introduce Dogecoin reward mechanism, and applied non-fungible token (‘NFT’) for digital copyright in online education.”

We are unsure what that means, but so far the announcement has not had any positive impact on the share price. In an announcement made October 28, Meten said it is purchasing crypto-mining equipment from Hong Kong-based AGM Group. Given that the Chinese government also has cracked down on crypto mining, this, too, may be a questionable path to riches.

Over the past 12 months, Meten’s stock is down about 87%. Since a SPAC merger brought the company public in late March of last year, the share price has dropped from about $10.20 to around $0.43. Only one brokerage, Aegis Capital, covers the stock. In late June, Aegis rated the shares a Buy with a 12-month price target of $3.00.

Aegis Capital also backed a recent at-the-market sale of Meten stock at $0.60 a share to raise gross proceeds of $20 million that Meten plans to use for capital expenditures, working capital and general corporate needs.

The stock trades an average of more than 91 million shares a day. Meten does not get a ton of discussion on WallStreetBets, but the apes are not happy with that $20 million stock sale.

The company is expected to release its third-quarter results before markets open on Monday. One analyst, we assume its Aegis Capital, expects Meten to post revenue of $32.57 million.

Until this past August, Meten was known as Meten EdtechX Education Group.