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Li-Cycle recently became a publicly traded company via a merger with a SPAC.

Courtesy Li-Cycle

Batteries are a big deal—and a difficult area for people to find places to invest.

Storage cells are powering cars and being added to renewable power generation sources such as wind and solar, making generation from intermittent sources more reliable. The problem for U.S. investors is that most of the large battery makers are located, and trade, in Northeast Asia.

Battery recycling, however, is one U.S. business set to expand that investors can buy into. Wedbush analyst Dan Ives sees an opportunity in the battery recycler


Li-Cycle Holdings

(ticker: LICY). He launched coverage of the company Monday with a Buy rating on its stock and a target of $14 for the price.

In early trading, the stock was up about 1.3% at $8.92, which wasn’t bad considering Monday was setting up to be a terrible day for markets. The Chinese real estate developer


China Evergrande

(3333. Hong Kong) is running into trouble handling its debt, stoking fear of a credit crisis there.

The Shanghai stock market was closed on Monday, but Hong Kong’s

Hang Seng Index
fell 3.3%. The

S&P 500
and

Dow Jones Industrial Average
were off about 1.4% and 1.2%, respectively, in mid morning.

Li-Cycle completed a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company in August, raising money and becoming a publicly traded company in the process.

The company does what its name suggests, recycling components for rechargeable batteries. It is the largest North American participant in the industry, Ives wrote. “The mission of Li-Cycle boils down to two simple goals: creating a circular flow of raw materials in the lithium-ion battery industry and ensuring that the world can confidently transition to a broader sustainable future,” he said.

Annual sales of new lithium-ion batteries are about $40 billion a year, and growing rapidly. Those sales will, eventually, turn into recycling opportunities as older EVs are scrapped and their batteries are salvaged.

Ives projected about $11 million in 2021 sales for Li-Cycle—a figure he sees growing to about $930 million by 2025. By then, he said, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization should rise to more than $500 million.

Li-Cycle stock is valued at about $1.5 billion, while the company has roughly $500 million on its balance sheet, postmerger. The stock looks attractive if all the growth materializes.

Five analysts now cover the company. Four, or 80%, rate shares Buy. The average Buy-rating ratio for small-capitalization stocks is about 60%. The average price target among analysts is $13.60, up more than 50% from recent levels.

Another battery recycler is Redwood Materials founded by


Tesla

(TSLA) co-founder J.B. Straubel. Redwood, however, isn’t publicly traded yet.

Write to Al Root at allen.root@dowjones.com

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