Lucid, Nikola, Fisker are eyed by Wall Street

Lucid Motors CEO Peter Rawlinson poses at the Nasdaq MarketSite as Lucid Motors (Nasdaq: LCID) begins trading on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange after completing its business combination with Churchill Capital Corp IV in New York, New York, July 26, 2021.

andrew kelly | Reuters

Investors in battered electric vehicle stocks are bracing for a series of first-quarter earnings reports to be released over the next few days.

The asset group has had a tough run, with the S&P Kensho Electric Vehicles Index down 25% since the start of 2022 and down 43% from its peak in February 2021. The index tracks manufacturers electric vehicles such as Tesla and Honda as well as major automotive suppliers such as Visteon and Lear.

Some of the industry’s best-known stocks fared even worse. They mostly claim little or no income and minimal or no production – and three of them report income within two days.

First, Fisker

California-based electric vehicle startup Fisker reported after markets closed on Wednesday that it lost $122.1 million in the first quarter, or $0.41 a share. That was a slight miss: Analysts polled by Refinitiv had expected a loss of $0.39 per share.

Fisker shares fell about 1.5% in after-hours trading following the news.

Fisker has more than 45,000 reservations for its upcoming Ocean, a sleek electric SUV that will start around $38,000.

Fisker does not have its own factory; Global automotive supplier Magna International will build the Ocean at its contract manufacturing facility in Austria. Production is expected to start in November.

Last year, Fisker announced plans for a second vehicle, a lower-cost model named PEAR that will be built by Taiwanese contractor Foxconn Technology Group from 2023. And earlier Wednesday, Fisker announced a third model. , a sports car called Ronin, scheduled for release in late 2024.

Fisker said Wednesday Magna has begun building Ocean prototypes for testing and remains on track to begin building vehicles for customers in November. CEO Henrik Fisker told CNBC’s Phil LeBeau that Fisker and Magna now plan to triple production of the Ocean from 50,000 vehicles in 2023 to 150,000 per year by the end of 2024.

Fisker has about $1 billion in cash, he said, enough to see him through to the start of Ocean production.

Year-to-date, the company’s shares are down about 33% at Wednesday’s close and 63% from their February 2021 high at $28.50.

Production plans at Nikola

Electric truck maker Nikola Motors will report before markets open on Thursday.

Phoenix-based Nikola is probably best known for the scandals that led to the abrupt departure of founder Trevor Milton in September 2020. Milton now faces federal charges over allegations he misled investors about the Nikola’s state of technology – but after paying a deal with the US government, his former company moved forward.

Under Milton’s successor, CEO Mark Russell, Nikola streamlined its go-to-market plan, forged key partnerships and began production of the battery-electric version of its Tre heavy-duty truck. A longer-range version of the Tre, powered by hydrogen fuel cells, is expected next year.

Nikola said Monday he raised about $200 million through a private sale of convertible notes. Its current cash balance — estimated at around $1 billion — and projected funding needs will likely prompt questions during its Thursday morning earnings call.

Nikola’s stock is down about 27% year-to-date through Wednesday, and is down 91% from its high of $79.73, set in June 2020.

Lucid Clarity

Unlike Nikola and Fisker, Lucid will have revenue to report when it releases its first-quarter results after markets close Thursday. The Arizona-based luxury electric vehicle maker began production of its first model, the Air sedan, last fall.

Lucid CEO Peter Rawlinson served as chief engineer on Tesla’s famous Model S. The Air, an uncompromising high-performance luxury sedan with an expansive range, is seen as an updated version of the ideas that shaped the Model S.

Reviews were very good: among other accolades, the Air was Motor Trend’s Car of the Year. But Lucid has struggled to ramp up production amid continued global supply chain disruptions. In February, it cut its 2022 production target from 20,000 vehicles to between 12,000 and 14,000 units.

The status of Lucid’s production ramp-up will likely be a hot topic during Thursday’s earnings call.

Lucid’s stock is down about 47% this year through Wednesday, and is down 65% from its February 2021 high at $58.05.

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