The shares of crypto mining hosting provider Applied Blockchain (APLD) more than doubled to $2.13 on Tuesday after the company signed its largest hosting deal ever with bitcoin (BTC) miner Marathon Digital (MARA).
Applied, which went public last year and recently signed a joint venture with Bitmain’s unit Antpool, inked a new five-year, roughly 200 megawatts (MW) deal with Marathon, one of the largest bitcoin mining companies.
“This deal should help ease funding concerns around APLD's expansion plans as Marathon should provide direct capital support as well as improve its financing options,” said Wall Street investment bank DA Davidson’s analyst Chris Brendler in a research note on Tuesday.
Although the terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, Brendler said he got the impression that the deal was a favorable one for the hosting firm, with “attractive all-in economics.”
Hosting is a service that data centers provide to crypto miners in which customers can store their crypto mining rigs and mine their preferred digital assets for a fee, without having to build the accompanying infrastructure themselves. All of Marathon’s bitcoin miners are hosted by third-party providers, a business model that the miner calls an “asset-light strategy.”
In recent months, demand for hosting crypto miners has seen an uptick as infrastructure and power supply-related delays, as well as lack of capital, have caused bottlenecks for miners in expanding their operations, with more mining rigs than places to provide power.
These problems have led to hosting of mining rigs as an attractive alternative to building out an entire mining facility, which several companies are trying to capitalize, including Applied.
Most recently, Luxor Technology, the full-stack bitcoin mining software and services provider, started a marketplace for miners in which customers will be able to purchase hosting services for their mining rigs, citing more demand for hosting facilities.
“With locked-in long-term contracts amid persistently high hosting demand as well as significantly lower equity capital needs, we think APLD is poised to revalue significantly,” said DA Davidson’s Brendler, who reiterated his buy rating on Applied’s stock.
Applied’s stock has six buy recommendations from Wall Street analysts and an average 12-month price target of $8 per share, according to FactSet data.