Stock Market

Succeeding in the increasingly crowded electric-vehicle market isn’t a walk in the park for any company. As a result, I’m convinced some EV stocks will be winners and some will be losers. That being said, investors have to be careful when they’re selecting EV stocks to buy. Also noteworthy is that I completely agree with Sino Auto Insights’ managing director, Tu Le, who told CNBC recently that “the shakeout is coming for the weaker players.” In other words, a significant percentage of EV start-ups are going to fail. However, I still believe that buying some high-risk EV stocks will ultimately make patient investors a great deal of money. Others, won’t.

Arrival (ARVL)

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Arrival (NASDAQ:ARVL) is a very high-risk EV stock. These days, investors have probably forgotten that it had a big deal with UPS (NYSE:UPS) and launched an alliance with Uber (NYSE:UBER). Not only that, but ARVL also received significant investments from UPS and Hyundai.  (The Uber alliance has been halted) However, even with these issues, I still believe that Arrival has a big deal of potential.

For example,  Kensington Capital agreed to invest up to $283 million in the company. In addition, the automaker says that it still plans to start delivering its new vans next year. Trading with a bargain-basement market capitalization of $35 million, I still believe this stock could make investors a good deal of money.

Lucid (LCID)

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Lucid (NASDAQ:LCID) is a highly valued mess. The demand for the company’s EVs has been weaker than expected, with first-quarter revenue coming in below expectations. Worse, sales were “actually the weakest [they’ve] been since the second quarter of last year,” said CFRA Research analyst Garrett Nelson. Lucid CEO Peter Rawlinson tried to blame the weak demand entirely on industry and macro issues. That, even as other EV companies post solid revenue. Unless Lucid carries out an epic, highly improbable turnaround, I believe that LCID is one of the high-risk EV stocks will ultimately be in the “zero” category.

Rivian (RIVN)

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I’m bullish on Rivian (NASDAQ:RIVN). Especially with its alliance with Amazon, and its ability to ramp up its production. Multiple Street analysts agree with me.  In fact, in the wake of the company’s Q1 results, Bank of America wrote that RIVN “is one of the most viable among the start-up EV automakers and also a relative competitive threat to incumbent” automakers,. The bank  added that the automaker “has an interesting / attractive product, relatively competitive technology, and intangible value in the Rivian brand.”

BYD (BYDDF)

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BYD (OTC:BYDDF), the largest seller of EVs in the world isn’t exactly “high risk.” Nonetheless, in light of the fact that many Americans consider almost all Chinese names to carry high amounts of risk, I decided to include BYDDF in this column.

Sino Auto Insights’ managing director, Tu Le reports that BYD has become “the number one brand for EVs in Israel and Thailand.” In my view, that bodes very well for the automaker’s long-term outlook in Europe and the U.S. All with the company showing its ability to become successful outside of China. Also encouragingly, BYD is starting to make a big push to boost its autonomous-driving offerings, and the company reported record profits last year, despite the strict anti-coronavirus measures in the country last year. Meanwhile, BYD’s forward price-earnings ratio is a reasonable 24.6.

Li Auto (LI)

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Like BYD, Li (NASDAQ:LI) is based in China and is very profitable. In fact, the company’s first-quarter earnings per share jumped a huge 186% year-over-year to 20 cents, and its revenue surged almost 100% year-over-year to $2.74 billion. In April ,the automaker sold a record 25,000 EVs.

I’m bullish on the company decision to start making cheaper EVs in order to boost its top and bottom lines,and I think the company’s intention to introduce an autonomous-driving system later this year also bodes very well for its outlook. I also believe that the gasoline engines which it uses to add range to its EVs are a feature that’s likely to makes its vehicles very attractive in countries other than China.

On May 11, Morgan Stanley raised its price target on LI stock to $40 from $30, citing what it views as the automaker’s “solid” Q1 results. The firm is also upbeat about the manner in which the EV maker has launched its new vehicles and is impressed with Li’s cost-control efforts.

Xpeng (XPEV)

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I’ve long been very bullish on Xpeng (NYSE:XPEV) thanks to its advanced navigation system. Indeed, as a result of the system’s technological proficiency, Xpeng’s G9 is being evaluated as a potential robotaxi.

Also, in another impressive development, the automaker last month unveiled a new “platform architecture” that it expects to lower the time needed to reduce R&D for upcoming models by 20%. The new platform is also supposed to cut the amount of money needed to enable changes to infotainment and advanced driver assistance systems “by 70% and 85%, respectively.”

During its fourth-quarter earnings call in March, Xpeng reported that its new orders in February had doubled versus January. That bodes very well for the company’s longer-term outlook. Last month, Xpeng lunched a new SUV that includes its most advanced ADAS features and has an impressive range of 755 kilometers. The EV can also travel 300 kilometers after being charged for just ten minutes, the company reported.

Lordstown Motors (RIDE)

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I’ve long been bearish on Lordstown (NASDAQ:RIDE). And unfortunately, the end appears nigh for the company. With an impasse with Foxconn, Lordstown warned on May 7 that it may not be able to stay in business. Specifically, Lordstown reported that, unless the companies reach a deal soon, it ” will be deprived of critical funding necessary for its operations.”

Ominously, the Ev maker added that ” The Company is evaluating its legal and financial alternatives in the event a resolution is not reached.”

Foxconn was supposed to invest $47 million in Lordstown within ten days after the deal was approved by Washington. The deal received a green light from the U.S. on April 25.  But as of May 11, no funds had been provided to Lordstown, and the company did not recognize its milestones or approve its budget, Lordstown reported. Given all of these points, I think there’s a high probability of Lordstown declaring bankruptcy in the not-too-distant future.

As of the date of publication, Larry Ramer owned shares of ARVL,RIVN, and XPEV. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

Larry Ramer has conducted research and written articles on U.S. stocks for 15 years. He has been employed by The Fly and Israel’s largest business newspaper, Globes. Larry began writing columns for InvestorPlace in 2015. Among his highly successful, contrarian picks have been PLUG, XOM and solar stocks. You can reach him on Stocktwits at @larryramer.

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