Marathon Digital’s (MARA) shares fell by about 12% Thursday. This was despite the company reporting better than expected first quarter results.

In a Wednesday filing, the company, one the largest publicly traded bitcoin miners, said that it had received a new subpoena by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which is investigating related-party transactions that could have violated federal securities laws.

Marathon said it will also be increasingly vertically integrating across the bitcoin mining tech stack, “all the way from the mining pool down to the ASIC [application-specific integrated circuits],” CEO Fred Thiel said in a call with investors on Thursday. Marathon is the sole major miner that runs its own pool.

The miner’s strategy has been asset-light, where it does not own infrastructure or facilities but operates with a lean staff. Thiel stated that Marathon will not “abandon” its current strategy. The company will continue to maintain its “agilty” while diversifying. It will play a more active part in the development of facilities, building technology and innovating business models.

Marathon’s stock is down in a day where most crypto-linked stocks have fallen as the bitcoin price has dropped about 2%.

In the last 24 hours, several bitcoin miners have announced their earnings for the first quarter. Marathon and CleanSpark(CLSK) both slightly exceeded analyst expectations while others set new operational goals for the year.

According to FactSet, Riot Platforms’ (RIOT) adjusted EPS was $0.04, compared with analyst estimates of a loss $0.14.

The Texas miner missed its target of 12.5 exahash/second of computing power or hashrate. However, this was not a big surprise, as in February the company reported that 17,000 of its mining equipment were offline because of damage caused by a winter storm.

Stronghold Digital Mining also reported an net loss per share of $0.65, which is roughly the same amount as the $0.66 that was reported last year for the same period. The company’s revenue dropped by 25%, to $17.3mn.

Stronghold has accelerated its hashrate forecast, anticipating to reach 4 EH/s at the end of third quarter instead of year-end. The miner also looks into a potential new revenue stream: selling ash which can be used to grow vegetation or as fertiliser. Stronghold uses coal refuse to power its mining equipment and sells some electricity back to the grid.

Marathon shares fell the most among publicly traded bitcoin mining companies on May 11 after it announced an SEC subpoena. (CoinDesk)

Halting the talk

Some miners began talking about the next halving . In about a year, the reward for mining a successful bitcoin block will be reduced in half.

CleanSpark (CLSK), a company that specializes in the development of computer systems, announced it had acquired all necessary machines to meet its stated goal for computing power at year’s end. The target was 16 EH/s. These Bitmain Antminer XPs will make CleanSpark (CLSK) “one of most efficient firms” and allow them to “optimize the halving of next year,” according to CEO Zach Bradford.

CleanSpark (CLSK ) has reported that it had a net loss per share of $0.23 from continuing operations. This is better than the average analyst’s estimate of $0.32, according to FactSet. The loss per share is about half of the previous quarterly but it’s worse than the $0.05 per share profit in the same time period last year. CleanSpark has a fiscal calendar, and the quarter ended March 31, 2023 was its second quarter.

CleanSpark has reiterated its goal to reach 16 EH/s computing power.

Jaime Leverton, CEO of Canadian Hut 8 Mining HUT, reassured investors despite dismal earnings. Leverton stated that the miner’s massive stack of bitcoins, which stood at 9,133 BTC by the end of the first quarter, as well as the diversification of the company into high-performance computer hosting, distinguishes it “positively” from pureplay digital assets miners who will be more exposed to increased competition after the halving.

Hut 8’s high-performance computing revenue was approximately a quarter the total revenue in the first three months. However, its mining revenue in the quarter was lowered due to operation issues.

Read more: Crypto and Bitcoin miners Rebrand and diversify to Survive: An Analysis of Their New Strategies

Correction (May 11, 2023, 18:20 UTC): Riot’s adjusted EPS was $0.04 and surpassed analyst expectations of a loss $0.14.

Aoyon Ashraf, Stephen Alpher and Aoyon Alpher edited the book.