Controversial EV startups Li Auto revenue tops, but Outlook lags; Rivian on tap

Controversial EV startups Li Auto revenue tops, but Outlook lags;  Rivian on tap

Li AutoLI) reported better-than-expected results for the first quarter, but provided weak delivery and sales forecasts for the second quarter. RivianRIVN) on deck on Wednesday. Both are promising but controversial EV startups.


Li Auto shares, along with colleagues NiozNIO) and xpengXPEV), fell further Monday amid slowing electric vehicle sales and fears of delisting in the US, along with a broad sell-off in the market. Rivian stock plunged Monday after an unconfirmed report that Fordf) was unloading millions of shares of the EV startup.

Shares of Li Auto and Rivian rose early Tuesday as the shares showed a modest rebound.

Rivian aims to shake off Tesla’s dominance in the US market. In China, Li Auto and his startup colleagues both challenge TeslaTSLA) and homegrown EV giant BYDBYDDF

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Li Auto Revenue

estimates: Analysts polled by FactSet expected Li Auto to lose 7 cents per ADR from a loss of 6 cents a year ago. Sales rose to $1.49 billion.

Results: Li Auto’s earnings came in at 7 cents per share. Revenue rose 167.5% to $1.51 billion.

Li previously disclosed that it delivered 31,716 vehicles in the first quarter, near the top of its forecast range and up 152% year over year. The automaker has one current model, the Li One SUV. The Li One is actually a hybrid, with a small petrol engine to extend its range.

Outlook: Li Auto expects 21,000-24,000 deliveries in the second quarter, up 19.5%-36.6% from a year earlier, but down sharply from the first quarter.

On May 1, Li Auto reported that it has shipped 4,167 Li One hybrid SUVs, down 62% from 11,034 in March and 25% less than a year earlier. Many suppliers were closed, with serious consequences for the production of Li.

The new Q2 forecast implies that May and June combined deliveries will improve, but still lag behind the pace of Q1.

Li Auto also forecast second-quarter revenue of $972.3 million – $1.11 billion, up 22% to 40% from a year earlier. Analysts had expected $1.759 billion.

Li Auto Stock

Shares were up nearly 5% before the stock market open today. Li Auto shares fell 9.1% to 19.01 on Monday amid a broad sell-off.

Li Auto shares undercut its 50-day moving average in April after the SEC added it to a tentative list of foreign companies to be delisted from U.S. exchanges unless they open their accounts. The relative strength line for Li stocks is showing a serious slowdown. Nio and Xpeng extended losses on Monday. They sank last week after joining Li Auto on the tentative list of Chinese companies poised for a U.S. scrap.

Rivian Revenue

estimatesAnalysts polled by FactSet predict Rivian will lose $1.41 a share on revenue of $132.7 million. There are no figures for a year ago.

Results: Come back late Wednesday.

Outlook: Rivian expects to produce 25,000 EVs by 2022, after halving its previous target in March.

Rivian Stock

Rivian stock rose 1% early Tuesday. Shares plunged 21% to 22.78 Monday, a record low. Rivian stock collapsed after a report that Ford will sell 8 million of the 102 million RIVN shares it owns. Ford declined to comment on the report.

Promising EV startup Rivian, backed by Ford and AmazonAMZN), went public last November via a blockbuster IPO.

At the end of last year, it started with limited deliveries of the R1T, a fully electric truck. But in March, Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe warned that electric vehicle production by 2022 is lagging far behind plans, despite strong demand. Management halved plans to build 50,000 EVs this year.

Last week, rival startup lucidLCID) maintained its production target but warned of supply disruptions, including Covid-related factory closures in China. LCID stock fell 9.8% to 16.37 Monday, its lowest level since Sept. 1.

Find Aparna Narayanan on Twitter at @IBD_Aparna


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