What Happened? Lordstown went public in October of 2020 after completing a SPAC merger. Roughly eight months later the company has legitimate concerns that it will be able to maintain operations for another year.
In its quarterly filing on Tuesday, which was late, Lordstown said it will need to raise more cash to successfully bring its EV truck Endurance to market.
“These conditions raise substantial doubt regarding our ability to continue as a going concern for a period of at least one year from the date of issuance of these unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements,” Lordstown said in the filing.
For the first quarter, Lordstown reported a net loss of $125 million and said it had $587 million in cash and cash equivalents on the balance sheet as of the end of the quarter.
The filing comes after Hindenburg Research revealed a short position in the stock back in March, accusing the company of misleading consumers and investors. Lordstown is a heavily shorted stock, with roughly 31% of its float currently held in short positions.
Voices From The Street: RBC analyst Joseph Spak initiated coverage of Lordstown with an Underperform rating and a $5 price target. Spak said the fleet pickup market Lordstown is targeting is both relatively small and fiercely competitive.
“Our forecasts are significantly lower than management targets and consensus and [we] see significant capital raises as necessary,” Spak wrote in the note.
While Lordstown management has said the company should reach break-even EBITDA sometime in 2022 or 2023, RBC is projecting the company will not hit breakeven EBITDA until 2025.
Bank of America analyst John Murphy reiterated his Neutral rating and $13 price target for Lordstown. Murphy said the filing is just one example of the massive amount of capital that will be needed in coming years to electrify the global auto industry.
“We remain concerned that RIDE’s longer-term growth trajectory may be challenged by a relatively narrow addressable market, as well as significant competition from incumbents and entrants in a segment that has historically been a cash flow cow for major US automakers,” Murphy said.
Despite the bump in the road, Murphy said Lordstown’s significant asset value coupled with the relative ease of raising capital in the autotech space suggests the company has a good chance of coming up with the funding it needs in some form.
Benzinga’s Take: Lordstown’s going concern warning should serve as a wake-up for investors in trendy EV stocks about just how difficult and expensive it is to get from unveiling a flashy vehicle prototype to achieving large-scale commercial production. Legacy automakers are investing hundreds of billions of dollars in rolling out dozens of their own EV models in the next couple of years, and it could be extremely difficult for startups with limited resources to compete.
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