Lucid Motors (LCID) significantly missed earnings estimates for its fourth quarter late Monday and slashed 2022 production outlook. Earlier, Lordstown Motors (RIDE) joined Nikola (NKLA) in reporting smaller-than-feared losses. Lucid stock fell hard in afterhours trade.
Saudi-backed Lucid also announced a plant in Saudi Arabia in a separate release late Monday. Among EV startups, Lucid is generally seen as a more credible, potential Tesla (TSLA) challenger because it’s actually delivering vehicles.
Estimates: Analysts expected Lucid to lose 35 cents a share on revenue of $36.7 million. In Q3, Lucid reported a 43-cents-a-share loss, worse than expected.
Results: Lucid lost 64 cents a share on revenue of $26.392 billion.
Outlook: Lucid updated 2022 production guidance. It’s now forecasting 12,000-14,000 vehicles, vs. 20,000 earlier.
“This reflects the extraordinary supply chain and logistics challenges we’ve encountered,” CEO Peter Rawlinson said in a release.
As of Feb. 28, Lucid had reservations for more than 25,000 Lucid Air EVs. That’s up from 13,000 at the end of Q3 2021. It has produced 400 EVs and delivered 300 EVs, after starting deliveries in Q4 2021.
Shares sank more than 13% in late trading. They spiked nearly 10% to 28.98 in the regular session on the stock market today. Lucid stock has met firm resistance at its 200-day/40-week moving average since late January. The stock was about 6% below that line on Monday, and down about 25% since the start of the year.
Lucid’s relative strength line is lagging, according to MarketSmith charts.
In a note Feb. 18, Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas warned of “high levels of volatility around the share price” ahead of Lucid earnings. Among other things, he cited Lucid stock’s “unusually low free float (and) high short interest.”
On Feb. 22, the California-based company announced a recall of more than 200 of its premium electric sedans due to a possible safety issue. Shares sank nearly 5% that day.
Among U.S. EV startups, Lucid may be Tesla’s nearest challenger, along with Rivian (RIVN). Last quarter, Lucid began initial deliveries of the $169,000 Air Dream EV, which topped the longest-range Model S with more than 500 miles in driving range. The Lucid Air went on to win accolades, including MotorTrend’s 2022 Car of the Year award.
The Lucid Air is the only EV from a startup that’s “in the same league as a Tesla product in terms of range, horsepower and other advantages,” CFRA analyst Garrett Nelson said in November. Rivian also began initial deliveries in Q4 last year.
As of November, Lucid had 17,000 reservations for the Air. It also has a war chest of $4.8 billion in cash, thanks to its February 2021 deal to go public through a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) deal with Churchill Capital Corp IV.
Beyond Lucid Stock: Lordstown, Nikola
Early Monday, Lordstown Motors disclosed a widened loss of $81.2 million, or 42 cents a share, for the fourth quarter. Analysts had projected a 77-cent loss, FactSet shows.
The startup expects to make and sell its first 500 Endurance electric pickup trucks in the third quarter of this year, with a fivefold increase in 2023 despite parts and supply-chain challenges. China’s Foxconn will build the $55,000 Endurance electric truck in Ohio.
Unlike Lucid stock, Lordstown stock tumbled 20%, below 3 per share, even as other EV makers gained ground Monday. Shares of Lordstown Motors have never recovered from March 2021 accusations of fake orders by short seller Hindenburg Research.
On Monday, Lordstown management warned of hurdles in the Foxconn manufacturing deal. The production target for the end of 2023 may also have spooked investors.
Last week, Nikola also reported better-than-feared losses for the fourth quarter. It, too, expects to start generating revenue from sales of its Tre electric semi rigs this year. EV startup Nikola, too, hasn’t recovered after being targeted by Hindenburg Research in September 2020.
Nikola stock ended flat, near 8 a share, Monday.
Blink Earnings Rescheduled
Blink Charging (BLNK) rescheduled its fourth-quarter earnings release for March 10. The EV charging startup is likely to lose 39 cents a share on negligible revenue. Blink stock gained 3%, near 25.
Recent and upcoming reports from new EV stocks provide investors a broad view of the EV startups picture, as established automakers ramp up electric vehicles amid a lingering auto chip shortage.
Lucid and its peers are among the new names pursuing the dominant electric-vehicle brand, Tesla (TSLA). But investors are wary after huge flameouts for new EV stocks. And Tesla CEO Elon Musk has cautioned that “prototypes are easy, and production is hard.”
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