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In today’s “Expert Spotlight”, we’ll be looking at two of the top picks, Riot Blockchain (NASDAQ:RIOT) and Argo Blockchain (NASDAQ: ARBK) (GB: ARB), this Roth Capital senior analyst Darren Aftahi is optimistic about. Aftahi is the Managing Director of Roth Capital and an expert in the internet, media and enabling technology sectors. Aftahi has extensive experience covering US and Canadian technology stocks.

According to the expert analyst, the main factors that could impact the performance of these blockchain miners are fierce competition, high energy costs, capital-intensive nature of mining, government regulations, and the price of Bitcoin (BTC-USD).

Aftahi rank among TipRanks experts

According TipRanks Star Rating SystemAftahi ranks 376th out of 7,998 analysts tracked on TipRanks.

Due to the poor performance of internet and media stocks lately, Aftahi’s overall success rate has dropped to 40%, with an average return of 18.10% over the past year. However, over the same period, his calls generated an alpha of 9.20% and 8.10% on the S&P 500 (SPX) and sector, respectively.

His highest rating to date has been on Digital Turbine Inc. (NYSE: APPS), which offers solutions for mobile operators, application developers, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and other third parties. Aftahi generated a whopping 800% return on its buy recommendation on APPS stock between April 9, 2020 and April 9, 2021.

Riot Blockchain remains a top choice among BTC miners

Riot Blockchain is one of the largest US-listed bitcoin miners in North America. Riot is committed to building, supporting, and operating blockchain technologies. Amid the chaos in the cryptocurrency markets and the fall in the value of associated currencies, RIOT has lost 66.5% so far this year.

In August, Riot produced 374 bitcoins, down 15% from August 2021, while leveraging its proprietary power strategy to reduce overall energy costs. As a result, Riot earned $3.0 million in energy credits, which equals approximately 136 bitcoins.

Notably, Riot sold 350 bitcoins in August for $7.7 million. At the end of August, Riot produced and held approximately 6,720 bitcoins. The company currently has a deployed fleet of 46,658 miners and a hashrate capacity of 4.8 exahash per second (EH/s).

Aftahi has a Buy rating on RIOT with a price target of $15, implying a huge upside potential of 96.6% from current levels.

Aftahi is particularly impressed with Riot’s debt-free balance sheet and strong cash position, which allows the company to steadily increase its hashrate. Additionally, the analyst is encouraged by Riot’s efforts to increase BTC holdings over the months and only sell a portion of BTC production.

Notably, Aftahi has always given a buy recommendation on RIOT stocks based on his belief in potential future growth. However, due to market turmoil, its success rate on RIOT recommendations is 40%, with a negative average return of 18.55%.

Is RIOT a buy, sell or hold?

On TipRanks, RIOT stock commands a strong buy consensus rating based on six unanimous buys. The Riot Blockchain’s average price target of $14.83 implies an impressive upside potential of 94.4% from current levels.

Aftahi remains optimistic about the Argo blockchain

London-based Argo Blockchain Plc is a global data center company that provides a powerful and efficient platform for cryptocurrency mining operations. Like Riot Blockchain, ARBK stock has lost 51.1% so far this year.

In August, Argo produced 235 bitcoins, jumping 7.3% from production in July 2022. The company reached hashrate capacity of 2.5 PE/s in August. Additionally, with the installation of the new Bitmain S19J Pro machines in its Helios factory by the end of October, Argo expects its total hashrate capacity to increase to 3.2 PE/s. At the end of August, Argo held 1,098 bitcoins.

Notably, Argo also announced a new strategic hosting agreement with an undisclosed third party. Under the agreement, Argo will own and operate mining machines owned by the third party at its Helios facility and provide enough electricity to power 10,000 mining machines. Argo will earn 25% of net profits from bitcoin mining from hosted machines.

Aftahi has a buy rating on ARBK with a price target of $10, implying a huge upside potential of 119.8% from current levels.

Our expert analyst is particularly encouraged by Argo’s new hosting contract and the possibility of having a fixed price contract (PPA) in place by the end of the year. In addition, the increase in bitcoin mining and the expansion of the hashrate remain favorable factors.

The only factor of concern for Aftahi is Argo’s mining margins dropping in August to 20% (July 37) as West Texas spot power prices rose to nearly 0.09 $ per kWh. This is nearly three times the average price increase in August in previous years. However, the fixed PPA should solve this problem in the future.

Remarkably, Aftahi remains very bullish on Argo Blockchain and has given consistent buy ratings on ARBK stocks. However, due to the disruptive factors affecting the cryptocurrency industry, its success rate on ARBK recommendations is only 10%, with a negative average return of 37.35%.

Is Argo Blockchain a Buy or a Sell?

On TipRanks, ARBK stock has a strong buy consensus rating based on five unanimous buys. The Argo Blockchain average price prediction of $9.40 implies a huge upside potential of 106.6% from current levels.

end thoughts

Aftahi has over 15 years of experience in equity research, risk arbitrage and investment banking, with a focus on the technology, media and services sectors. Considering its impeccable track record, investors can opt to follow Aftahi’s investment picks to earn reasonable returns. In particular, TipRanks accumulates the recommendations of several Top Expertswhich can be taken into account when making investment choices to maximize returns.

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