The Ethereum blockchain will soon undergo a significant upgrade but the development will have a neutral impact on HIVE Blockchain Technologies (HIVE Blockchain Stock Quote, Chart TSXV:HIVE), says analyst David Kwan of PI Financial. In a Friday update to clients, Kwan reiterated his “Buy” rating with the lowered price target of C$0.60 (previously C$0.70).
Blockchain platform Ethereum is about to get a system-wide upgrade called Constantinople, which is aimed at increasing transaction efficiency and will entail among other things changes to code execution and, important for HIVE’s purposes, a change in the blockchain reward system so that cryptominers will gain two Ether units per block instead of the three they currently receive.
Kwan says the overall impact on HIVE will be neutral.
“Other things being equal, this would negatively impact the economics of miners but we would expect that in the absence of a related increase in the price of Ether, we believe network hashrates and difficulty would decline, as mining activity would likely decrease as more miners would face unprofitable mining operations,” says Kwan.
The analyst says that HIVE is now able to operate a more diversified spectrum of mining operations due to its cloud ASIC mining now up and running, but he has lowered his forecasts, nonetheless, due to the continuing decline in cryptocurrency prices. He now assumes a Bitcoin price of $6,600 (was $6,900) and an Ether price of $230 (was $300). (All figures in US dollars unless noted otherwise.)
Kwan sees HIVE generating revenue and Adj. EBITDA in fiscal 2019 of $39.4 million and $6.3 million, respectively, and revenue and Adj. EBITDA in fiscal 2020 of $53.3 million and $13.8 million, respectively.
His C$0.70 target stems from a 12x his calendar 2019 Adjusted EBITDA estimate valuation and represents a 12-month projected return of 16.7 per cent at the time of publication.