• A Jefferies analyst predicted that Marathon Digital would see strong sales in the fourth quarter due to bitcoin’s higher prices and lower transaction fees.
  • Analysts will also look for the miner’s plan to switch from third-party hosted to self-mining.

BTC Price Index and Live Chart – CoinDesk”>(BTC) miner Marathon Digital’s (MARA) shares outpaced mining peers on Wednesday, ahead of an earnings report that Jefferies expects to be strong mainly due to a rally in BTC prices during the fourth quarter.

Early trading saw the shares rise more than 6%, while other stocks in mining are mostly quiet. Bitcoin has soared past $60,000 again for the first since November 2021.

Read more: Crypto Stocks Rally as Bitcoin Breaks $59K for the First Time since 2021

Jefferies analyst Jonathan Petersen wrote in a report that the Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based company is scheduled to announce its fourth-quarter earnings on Wednesday after the bell. The miner will likely see a boost due to bitcoin’s recent rally as well as higher transaction fees.

We expect the company to report a strong acceleration of Q/Q growth due a nearly 50 percent increase in average BTC prices from 3Q23. Petersen added that transaction fees were also higher in 4Q23. They now account for 11% of the miner rewards compared to just 2% during 3Q23.

Transaction fees have seen a significant spike due to the popularity of Ordinals. This has helped lift miners’ profits. Last quarter, due to the popularity of Ordinals, transaction fees saw some significant spikes, helping lift miners’ profitability.

Marathon recently took over the full ownership at two mining sites, where Hut 8 had been hosting machines for rival company. By removing Hut 8 from its role as a third-party operator the miner will be able lower their operating costs and improve their operational efficiency.

Marathon’s gains this year have been nearly 20%, but they are still below the 44% bitcoin has gained in anticipation of April’s halving bitcoin event.

Read more: Bitcoin Halving is Poised to Unleash Darwinism Upon Miners

Sheldon Reback is the editor.