Rivian Tops Tesla Gains In Premarket Trading: What's Powering EV Stock Higher?
Comment of the Day

March 29 2023

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Rivian Tops Tesla Gains In Premarket Trading: What's Powering EV Stock Higher?

This newswire item may be of interest. Here is a section: 

Kelley Blue Book sales data gathered from the state Registry of Motor vehicle showed registrations of 8,145 Rivian vehicles in the first quarter, analyst Chris Pierce said, citing information from Cox Auto’s first-quarter 2023 “Industry Insight Calls.” This compares to the consensus estimate of 7,167 vehicles, he added.

The analyst also noted that first-quarter used vehicle data showed that fewer used Rivian vehicles were on sale relative to Lucid Motor Group (NASDAQ:LCID) and Ford Motor Co.’s (NYSE:F) Lightning EV pickup truck, which is a direct competition to Rivian’s R1T pickup truck.

Eoin Treacy's view

Rivian has a market cap of $13 billion and had $11.5 billion in cash at the end of last year. The improvement in sales suggests the run rate on its loss is unlikely to accelerate which supports the view it will not go bust this year. That gives the share some optionality to the view it might well survive if production can successfully be ramped up.   
The share is down 86% from its IPO price so a lot of bad news has been priced in. The elephant in the room for startups is how available credit will be in future and what price they will have to pay for it. Rivian is producing vehicles but to increase production it will have an ongoing capital call before it has the resources necessary to self-fund.
Lucid Group has let go 18% of their workforce and is likely to slow down its production goals to try and preserve cash. The share had $3.9 billion in cash at the end of last year and negative free cash flow of around the same amount. With a price/sales ratio on 20.5 that implies the company will need Saudi Arabia to take a bigger position and potentially announce the transfer of production to Riyadh in order to raise the capital required to stay in operation. The share’s weakness reflects that reality.
Fisker has a price/sales ratio of 5700 and price to book of 4.13. The price has steadied over the last week but it is a very expensive company.
Tesla is cheap when compared to the so-called Tesla killers. The share continues to pause below the psychological $200 level. It will need to sustain a move above that level to confirm a return to demand dominance beyond the short term.

Porsche is testing the upper side of its three-month range and looks likely to break higher.

The bond market is pricing in rate cuts and the stock market is behaving like they have already happened. That implies a benign environment where disinflation delivers a soft landing and startups will again have access to ample capital. Here’s hoping but I am sceptical.

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