Nikola stock jumps as EV truck maker reports start to production and surprise Q1 revenue

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Nikola Motor Company
Source: Nikola Motor Company

Electric heavy-truck maker Nikola said it expects to deliver between 300 and 500 of its battery-electric semitrucks in 2022, after moving its first vehicles off the production line during the first quarter.

Production of Nikola’s battery-electric Tre semitruck began in late March, and its first 11 trucks were shipped to dealers in April. While Nikola didn’t recognize any revenue from truck deliveries in the first quarter, it did collect about $1.9 million in services-related revenue, helping it to beat Wall Street’s expectations.

Here are the key numbers:

Adjusted loss per share: 21 cents, narrower than the loss of 27 cents per share expected by Wall Street, according to Refinitiv consensus estimates.Revenue: $1.9 million, beating Wall Street’s expectation of about $100,000, according to Refinitiv consensus estimates.

The analyst coverage on Nikola, which went public via a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company in June 2020, is still thin. None of the seven analysts surveyed in Refinitiv’s revenue consensus estimate expected Nikola to crack $1 million.

The battery electric Tre is designed as a short-range truck for local use. Nikola said a fuel cell version of the Tre, which will have range sufficient for long-haul duty, completed an initial series of tests with Anheuser-Busch in California in late April and is on track to go into production in the second half of 2023.

Nikola was one of the first EV startups to go public. Like other post-SPAC EV makers, its shares soared in the weeks after the merger was completed – only to fall back to earth after a scandal surfaced.

Nikola’s outspoken founder, Trevor Milton, abruptly resigned in September 2020 after short-seller Hindenburg Research alleged that he had misled investors about the state of Nikola’s technology. Milton has since been indicted by a federal grand jury for making false statements. Nikola paid the Securities and Exchange Commission $125 million in December to settle related charges.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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