Lisa Ellis and Dr. Catherine Corrigan make money for their investors the old fashioned way — they understand the implications of innovation in Bitcoin, cryptocurrency and battery storage solutions and create methods to profit from these insights.
Lisa Ellis is a partner and Senior Managing Director at MoffettNathanson LLC.
She leads the Payments, Processors, and IT Services business. She wrote several investment research reports and frequently appears as a commentator on Bitcoin, blockchain, and other cryptocurrencies.
In 2020, she was named to Barron’s list of “100 Most Influential Women in U.S. Finance.”
Prior to joining MoffettNathanson, Ms. Ellis was a Managing Director and Senior Research Analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. While at Bernstein, Ms. Ellis was the #1 Institutional Investor -ranked Payments, Processors and IT Services analyst.
Prior to Bernstein, Ms. Ellis spent 13 years at McKinsey & Co. where she was a Partner in the firm’s Technology & Telecom and Marketing & Sales consulting practices. She received advanced degrees in physics, math, engineering, and business.
Ms. Ellis has deep insight into the Cryptocurrency and Blockchain technology innovations. In this 2,650 word interview, exclusively in the Wall Street Transcript, she details her perspective and develops the thesis for several related stock picks.
“The interest in underlying blockchain technology, as well as digital currencies and cryptocurrency technologies, continues to increase.
It has gone through various fits and starts and spurts, but has continued to increase over the last seven or eight years. And over time, I guess I’d say that the use cases for blockchain and for digital assets or cryptocurrencies are starting to evolve and crystallize into a handful of different use cases.
The underlying blockchain technology is essentially a different form of database technology.
It has applicability primarily in supply chain-related applications, as well as some underlying core banking-related applications. So there’s a lot of interest in that area, and then digital currencies as well as cryptocurrencies, some of the derivative products like NFTs have other use cases.
Some of them are simply in investments and trading like we see with cryptocurrencies. Some are in payments, some are in asset identification and tracking like you see with NFTs.
I guess I’d say the big evolution over just the last couple of years is that the investments in this space have started to align themselves around this sort of four or five major applications for the technology.”
This innovation has led Ms. Ellis to recommend some near term investments for those looking for exposure to the Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Sector:
“For instance, Bitcoin was invented in 2008.
We’re only 14 or 15 years into a very transformational disruptive technology. It’s still in its early stages.
If you think about that in the internet context, the internet, the origins of the internet, were back in the 1960s and it really wasn’t until the 1990s that you saw the explosion and adoption of the internet.
We’re still in very early stages and many of the companies that investors are the most interested in in the space are actually the companies that are providing the building blocks or the infrastructure for these technologies.
They’re still so nascent that you’re still figuring out foundational things, like how do we securely store digital assets or digital currencies, how do we store them in a secure way such that they are accessible, but also protected from theft and fraud.
There’s a group of companies that do asset custody and storage, which are very popular.
These would be companies like Coinbase (NASDAQ:COIN), who is very active in that space. Paxos is another one. Bakkt (NYSE:BKKT) is another one that is very strong in that arena.
Similarly, there are companies that just provide a method of moving — on-ramping and off-ramping between traditional assets and currencies and into the digital assets and currencies.
They provide this intermediation layer.
Again, that would be exchanges like a Gemini or an FTX, or Kraken is another one. These are what you’d call the picks and shovels companies of blockchain and crypto or digital asset technologies. That’s the stage of development that we’re in right now.”
Get all of Ms. Ellis’ deep insight by reading the entire 2,650 word interview, exclusively in the Wall Street Transcript.
Dr. Catherine Corrigan is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Exponent, Inc. Dr. Corrigan joined the Company in 1996, was promoted to Principal in the Biomechanics Practice in 2002, and to Corporate Vice President in 2005.
In 2012, she was appointed Vice President of Exponent’s Transportation Group, overseeing the company’s Vehicle Engineering, Biomechanics, Human Factors, and Statistical and Data Sciences practices, as well as Visual Communications.
She was appointed President of the company in 2016 and Chief Executive Officer in 2018. Dr. Corrigan has consulted in the area of injury biomechanics and on issues related to motor vehicle and product safety for more than 20 years.
Dr. Corrigan holds a Ph.D. in Medical Engineering from the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from MIT, and a B.S.E. in Bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Corrigan was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2021.
In this exclusive 3,135 word interview found only in the Wall Street Transcript, Dr. Corrigan emphasizes the financial rigor that she demands for her company:
“We have about $300 million of cash right now on our balance sheet.
There are three categories of things that we think about in terms of deploying that cash.
First, we have been committed to a dividend for a number of years now. We have continued to raise that dividend over the course of time, actually raising it faster than earnings. We just recently raised the dividend by about 20%. So we are committed to continuing our dividend program as a way of returning cash to shareholders. That’s an important pillar of our strategy with regard to our cash.
The second is share repurchases. We’ve just recently increased our share repurchase authorization, adding about $150 million to that. Our strategy there is to take advantage of pullbacks in the stock that are unrelated to our performance, but are a function of the marketplace, and to use our cash to strategically repurchase shares.
The third opportunity involves tuck-in types of acquisitions that we think could help us to seed or accelerate new areas of business for the firm. We are very choosy about acquisitions, and it’s been a number of years since we’ve done one. But we do believe, at least philosophically, that there can be opportunities if we find the right partner to make an acquisition that could accelerate some of our growth.”
Dr. Corrigan sees her company growing around new technologies:
“…There are some particular areas of business that we’re very focused on in terms of growth opportunities.
One of them is around energy storage, and batteries in particular. Exponent has been working in the battery and energy storage arena for a number of years, mostly focused early on in the consumer electronics industry.
One example is our work on the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 a few years ago. That’s one of the few public projects that we’re actually able to talk about.
We are now seeing demand for energy storage expertise across more industries.
Transportation in particular is a place where many of the original equipment manufacturers are coming out with pledges around the percentage of their vehicle fleets that are going to be electrified over the next five or 10 or 15 or 20 years. The vehicle electrification trend is driving more and more demand for our expertise related to energy storage, safety and performance.
We’ve got some very advanced methodologies for testing these kinds of energy storage systems, whether those are the small batteries in medical devices, all the way up to utility-scale storage systems that empower our transition into cleaner energy.
Our initiatives around batteries are oriented toward growing that work across industries.”
Get the complete interview with Dr. Corrigan, exclusively in the Wall Street Transcript.
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