Why is Input Surging?

Because you asked: What's going on with Input Capital?

Input Capital (INP.V, INPCF) has soared still higher — I wrote about this a couple weeks ago when it was just ticking over the top of what I considered a “safe” range for buying the stock. Optimism seems to be returning to these shares, and there isn’t one clear reason for why that’s happening right now — they report next week, and they’re not established enough for us to have a really solid idea of what the report will look like, particularly because the business is both seasonal and flexible (sometimes they sell their harvests really fast, sometimes it takes longer, and they’re just leaving their prime season for setting new contracts with, they say, 100 active streaming deals.

If you’re not familiar with Input Capital, they do agricultural financing for canola in Western Canada — they provide an up front payment for a multi-year streaming deal, and get a right to a certain tonnage of canola each year at a set price (with bonuses if yields are extra good). They do well if the farms have unusually good yields, or if the price of canola rises, and absent those things, if the price stays steady, they generally get their capital back over the first few years of a contract and have the “gravy” be those final couple years. Canola cash prices are going up, they’re up about 10% over the last couple months, so perhaps that has something to do with it… but I suspect it’s still just investors regaining some level of trust in the strategy after their defaults last year and the recent partial recoveries, and regaining trust takes time.

I’m still waiting for the earnings announcement before I decide whether Input is really worth this new price (it’s at C$2.15 as I type, up 35% from the April lows on what I would consider to be no real news). The stock is above the conservative price I’m comfortable with for buying, and I remain cautious that a weak growing season from dry conditions in Canada (which also helped cause that wildfire near Fort McMurray, which continues to be out of control and burning 2,000 square miles) could hurt the stock — if they say something in the call about expecting lower tonnage this year, the shares could certainly come down (though that could work the other way, too, if their farms happen to do better than ...

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