Top 5 US Lithium Battery Stocks for 2022

Top 5 US Lithium Battery Stocks for 2022

UPDATED Dec 04, 2023

  • Recent estimates from McKinsey suggest a global demand of around 3 million metric tons of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) in 2030. In contrast, the total global LCE output for 2021 amounted to only 540,000 metric tons, a mere 18% of the anticipated need for 2030.
  • Companies involved in the extraction and processing of high grade lithium should expect to benefit as increased demand will drive lithium prices up, giving an uplift to company earnings.

4 companies

Albemarle Corporation develops, manufactures, and markets engineered specialty chemicals worldwide.

Why ALB?

Project feasibility.

  • Albemarle has proved it can already economically produce battery grade lithium in a period where lithium prices were much lower, illustrating the company’s ability to continue operations should lithium prices fall.

Ability to be self-funded.

  • Albemarle’s lithium branch is already profit making, so earnings can be retained and capital can be invested into the aforementioned expansion projects without the need for significant capital raises or taking on large amounts of debt. Smaller companies and emerging players will have to undergo financing stages which carry risks and may result in shareholder dilution.

Albemarle has a firm grasp on the market and seems positioned to continue riding this lithium wave from strength to strength. But these factors don’t paint the full picture and investors should always consider the financials of a company to inform their assessment.


  • Price-To-Earnings ratio (4.2x) is below the US market (16.2x)

  • Earnings are forecast to grow 6.6% per year

  • Earnings grew by 113.9% over the past year


  • High level of non-cash earnings

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Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile S.A. produces and distributes specialty plant nutrients, iodine derivatives, lithium derivatives, potassium chloride and sulfate, industrial chemicals, and other products and services.

Why SQM?

Significant Expansion pipeline.

  • With SQM’s joint venture in Mt Holland expecting to enter production in 2024 and a drastic increase to the production capabilities of their Salar del Carmen project, there’s ample opportunity for the company to grow their presence in the market and beat out new entrants.

Variable exposure to lithium prices.

  • Looking forward to 2022, SQM’s sales contracts are detailed as follows: 20% fixed or variable price, 50% variable price with a ceiling and 30% not contracted. This means that SQM will still be exposed to the increase in lithium prices on previously negotiated contracts even if the price of lithium was lower at the time the contract was agreed upon, opening the company up to increased revenues.

Investors should always consider the risks and financial health of a company to inform their investment decision.


  • Trading at 10.2% below our estimate of its fair value


  • Earnings are forecast to decline by an average of 0.7% per year for the next 3 years

  • High level of non-cash earnings

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Livent Corporation manufactures and sells performance lithium compounds primarily used in lithium-based batteries, specialty polymers, and chemical synthesis applications in North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the Asia Pacific.


Low cost focus.

  • High lithium prices can make many more projects economically feasible, but striving for lower operating costs will mean a project can weather the storm if demand and prices fall. By securing a low-impurity lithium resource, Livent has allowed processing costs to be cut, giving a competitive advantage over other brine operations.

Exposure to Lithium Carbonate, Lithium Chloride and Lithium Hydroxide prices.

  • New high-density batteries are more compatible with lithium hydroxide owing to greater nickel content in the cathodes. Should primary lithium demand switch from carbonate to hydroxide, Livent’s exposure to the prices in both products should help it navigate pricing volatility.

Livent is a smaller company and that does carry some possible risks.


  • Trading at 31% below our estimate of its fair value

  • Earnings are forecast to grow 18.47% per year

  • Earnings grew by 89.2% over the past year


  • High level of non-cash earnings

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Standard Lithium Ltd. explores for, develops, and processes lithium brine properties in the United States.

Why SLI?

Ability to fast-track commercial brine operations using existing brine operations.

  • Standard lithium is able to piggy-back its operations off of LANXESS’ existing bromine extraction facility, negating the need for exorbitant capital expenditure that other companies of similar size will have to go through.

First to market with a revolutionary extraction process.

  • Standard Lithium has developed its own direct lithium extraction (DLE) process called LiSTR. The company promotes this proprietary process as being able to deliver increased recovery efficiency when compared to traditional evaporation methods and a smaller environmental footprint. The most valuable part of this process is that it is scalable, modular and able to be bolted on the LANXESS’ existing bromine infrastructure, allowing Standard Lithium to bring their lithium to market more quickly than competitors.


  • Earnings have declined by 36.7% per year over past 5 years

  • Makes less than USD$1m in revenue (CA$0)

  • Shareholders have been diluted in the past year

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Simply Wall St analyst Bailey Pemberton and Simply Wall St have no position in any of the companies mentioned.