Home / Business / High-Flying EV Maker Nikola Plummets in Bumpy Earnings Debut

High-Flying EV Maker Nikola Plummets in Bumpy Earnings Debut

(Bloomberg) – Nikola Corp.’s first revenue report was uneven, with executives and analysts trading barbs and investors sending electric car stocks high.

The stock fell 18% in late trading after the company, which develops large rigs running on batteries and fuel cells, said it lost $ 86.64 million in the second quarter, a five times greater net loss than a year ago.

Within minutes of Nikola releasing his statement, founder Trevor Milton tweeted that the Phoenix-based company had provided analysts with figures on the company’s stock bill. He wrote that in view of these figures, the manufacturer beat expectations, contrary to some who said they fell short.

Analysts responded naturally by pressing CEO Mark Russell on Nikola’s revenue for more information on new customers, production timing and any confirmation of a partnership with a manufacturer that will build the company’s electric pickup model, called Badger.

“So, Mark, I’m just wondering, is that all we get?” Paul Coster, an analyst at JPMorgan who assesses Nikola as equivalent to a purchase, told Russell. Jeff Osborne of Cowen said the attempt to follow timelines Milton has communicated on social media has been “a bit confusing.”

Nikola hopes to start testing the battery-electric version of its first semi-truck, Tre, with selected customers in 2021. The company has a joint venture with CNH Industrial NV’s Iveco truck unit to start limited production of the vehicle in Ulm, Germany, at the end of next year. Trucks powered by hydrogen fuel cells will be built in Coolidge, Arizona, beginning in 2023, where the company broke ground at its first U.S. manufacturing facility last week.

During the call, Russell declined to name new customers in addition to Anheuser-Busch InBev SA, which had previously announced that it was ordering 800 fuel cell semis. In a telephone interview, Russell said the company has potential buyers around the world.

“We had a fleet week in Europe where we take in customers and we have had representatives of a good market share in our head office,” said Russell. “A good part of the target customers has been to see us. We’ve been talking to them for a while. “

Nikola listed its shares in early June following a reverse merger with a specialty acquisition company and quickly saw its market capitalization reach nearly $ 29 billion, at a time when it surpassed Ford Motor Co. Lordstown Motors Corp. and Fisker Inc. is now trying to follow suit.

After ending the quarter with $ 707.3 million in cash and the like, Milton said in an interview that Nikola’s focus will be on financial prudence as it leads to products on the market. The company expects to raise an additional $ 264.5 million by exercising warrants.

“We operate a really tight ship here and spend money, but only when needed,” Milton said. “That’s why we will succeed and others have failed. They spent money as if it were just being distributed.”

(Updates with founder tweets from the third paragraph.)

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