Rivian stock sinks after EV maker says it expects to deliver a modest 25,000 vehicles this year

Rivian signage at the Nasdaq on their IPO day, November 10, 2021 in New York.

Source: Rivian

Shares of Rivian Automotive tumbled in after-hours trading Thursday after the company missed Wall Street’s fourth-quarter earnings expectations and forecast a modest increase in vehicle production for 2022.

Shares of the electric-vehicle automaker were down more than 13%, after earlier hitting a new 52-week low Thursday.

Rivian said it expects to produce 25,000 electric trucks and SUVs this year, as the start-up battles through supply chain constraints and internal production snags. That would be just half of the vehicle production it forecast to investors last year as part of its IPO roadshow.

“In the immediate term, we are not immune to the supply chain issues that have challenged the entire industry. Those issues, which we believe will continue through at least 2022, have added a layer of complexity to our production ramp-up,” the company said in a letter to shareholders.

Rivian said reservations for its vehicles have reached about 83,000 as of March 8, up from 71,000 in December.

A planned increase in production will come alongside an adjusted operating loss of $4.75 billion and capital expenditures of $2.6 billion this year, the company forecasted Thursday when reporting its fourth-quarter results.

Here’s how Rivian performed during the quarter, compared with analysts’ estimates as compiled by Refinitiv:

  • Adjusted loss per share: $2.43 vs. $1.97 a share expected
  • Revenue: $54 million vs. $60 million expected

Rivian reported an adjusted operating loss of $2.8 billion for 2021, including $1.1 billion in the fourth quarter, marking significantly wider losses than the year-ago period. Its net loss for 2021 came in at $4.7 billion, including $2.5 billion during last quarter.

The company didn’t offer revenue guidance for 2022, though Refintiv consensus estimates predict a full-year, adjusted loss per share of $4.97 and revenue of about $3.16 billion.

The company remains financially sound, though, with $18.4 billion in cash on hand at the end of last year. Rivian said it expects capital expenditures to total about $8 billion through the end of 2023. The company previously set a production goal of 150,000 vehicles per year by that date.

Rivian CEO R.J. Scaringe said Thursday the company would be capable of producing more than 50,000 units this year if there were no problems in the supply chain.

“We’re working as hard as we can to get the suppliers ramped,” he told investors.

Rivian is among the leaders in early stage electric vehicle start-ups. Late last year the company started producing three separate vehicles at its factory in Normal, Illinois. The vehicles include an the R1T pickup and R1S SUV for consumers and an electric delivery van. The first orders of the vans are going to Amazon, which holds a 20% stake in the start-up.

The company declined to disclose how many vans it has produced and delivered to Amazon. 

During the earnings presentation, Scaringe also shared additional details about the new lower-cost and lower-range “Standard” battery packs, announced on March 1.

The new packs will contain lithium iron phosphate, or LFP, battery cells, which don’t use nickel or cobalt – both of which have soared in price in recent weeks. The new Standard battery packs will debut later this year in the RCV delivery vans the company is building for Amazon — but they won’t be available in the R1T and R1S models until 2024, Scaringe said.

Shares of Rivian, which went public in November, are down about 60% this year as of Thursday’s close, after the company missed production targets for 2021.

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