Energy Fuels Inc (NYSEAMERICAN:UUUU) (TSE:EFR) rose Thursday after saying it remained the top US uranium producer in 2018.
CEO Mark S. Chalmers said in a letter to shareholders that the company produced 917,000 pounds of triuranium octoxide at its Nichols Ranch in situ recovery project in Wyoming and at its White Mesa Mill in Utah.
Shares of Energy Fuels climbed 2% to US$3.05 in Thursday's New York trading. They were up 2.3% to C$4.07 in Canada.
READ: Uranium company Energy Fuels rises as target price raised by Roth on strength of balance sheet
Energy Fuels noted that it decreased uranium production in 2018 to conserve cash and in-ground resources and added that its uranium production will drop further as vanadium production supplants uranium production at the White Mesa Mill.
In another highlight, the company qualified for inclusion in the Russell 3000 Index, allowing it to boost its share liquidity significantly. It was able to repay in full its Wyoming industrial development bonds totaling US$8.7 million, saving on interest expense.
Moreover, in response to a petition submitted by Energy Fuels and Ur-Energy Inc (NYSEAMERICAN:URG) (TSE:URE) in January 2018, the US Commerce Department began an investigation under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act into the effects of uranium imports on national security.
The companies are seeking remedies including a quota to limit imports of uranium into the US, effectively reserving 25% of the market for US uranium production. They are also seeking a requirement for federal utilities and agencies to buy US uranium.
'Punching above our weight'
“With 2019 off to a quick and exciting start, we reflect proudly on 2018 when we believe we took major steps forward toward achieving our objective of being ‘larger and mightier’ than the year before,” Chalmers said. “Next year, I look forward to writing once again with an update on how we are doing by ‘punching above our weight’ on our journey to becoming a uranium company of major global significance.”
Earlier this week, Roth Capital Partners raised its target price for Energy Fuels to US$4 from US$3.75, citing the company's stronger-than-expected balance sheet.
Roth analyst Joe Reagor wrote that he is confident that there will be a positive resolution to the Commerce Department’s uranium import investigation.
–This story has been updated to give the latest stock prices–
Contact Dennis Fitzgerald at [email protected]