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The Core Lithium Ltd (ASX: CXO) share price closed down 3.8% yesterday.
Shares in the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) lithium stock finished the day trading for $1.01 apiece.
That puts Core Lithium shares down 11% over the past month.
After that sizeable decline, is the ASX lithium miner trading for a bargain?
Is the Core Lithium share price in bargain territory?
While I remain longer-term bullish on Core Lithium, not everyone agrees.
The ASX lithium share has the ignominious honour of being the second most shorted stock this week, with a short interest of 9.5%, according to ASIC.
And the company has a fair number of brokers that believe it has a way to fall yet before entering bargain territory.
Goldman Sachs, for example, has a sell rating on the stock with a target of 80 cents for the Core Lithium share price. Citi also has a sell rating and an even lower 75 cents price target.
Morgans is less bearish, with a hold rating and a $1.05 price target.
Remember, the Core Lithium share price closed at $1.01 per share yesterday.
Macquarie counts among the minority of brokers expecting the Core Lithium share price to lift off from here. Macquarie has an outperform rating on the stock with a $1.30 price target. That represents an upside of some 29% from yesterday’s close.
What are ASX 200 investors considering?
The lithium space is attracting a lot of big-name, and deep-pocketed, investors.
Billionaire Gina Rinehart is among the more recent entrants with her company, Hancock Prospecting, nearing a deal to acquire a lithium mine in Western Australia.
On a national level, Chile and the European Union plan to collaborate to develop value-added lithium projects in the South American nation.
These factors are contributing to some ASX 200 investors’ concerns that the Core Lithium share price may be overvalued if lithium prices retrace.
But on the bullish front, the Chinese government appears poised to open up the stimulus taps. Last week the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) lowered rates on short-term funding. And more directed stimulus is broadly anticipated.
That could help spur EV sales and battery production in the Middle Kingdom, supporting lithium prices and Core Lithium shares.
And don’t forget that Core Lithium’s Finniss Lithium Project – located close to Port Darwin in the Northern Territory – is set to ramp up towards full production next year.
Finniss achieved its first spodumene concentrate production in February. Once complete, the project is forecast to produce an average of 160,000 tonnes of battery-grade lithium concentrate per year.
With the company holding $98 million in cash as of 31 March, I believe the longer-term direction of the Core Lithium share price will be higher.