(Reuters) -Rivian Automotive missed market estimates for fourth-quarter deliveries as tough competition and high interest rates weighed on demand for its electric vehicles, sending the company's shares down 10% on Tuesday.
The company handed over 13,972 vehicles in the last three months of 2023, 10% lower than the previous quarter, and below estimates of 14,430, per 13 analysts polled by Visible Alpha.
High interest rates in the United States have raised monthly payments for electric vehicles, making them less affordable and prompting a price war by market leader Tesla.
Amazon.com, Rivian's biggest backer and a large customer, also does not take deliveries during the fourth quarter as it focuses on the holiday season in the period.
"It's likely that holiday schedules slowed down deliveries vs production," said Vitaly Golomb, a Rivian investor and an electric and autonomous mobility expert.
Rivian produced 17,541 vehicles in the last three months of 2023, up 7.5% from the prior quarter. That took the annual production to 57,232 units, beating its forecast of 54,000.
Tesla also posted quarterly deliveries on Tuesday, with the company beating market estimates and meeting its annual goal.
While an earlier-than-expected bond issuance in October had sent Rivian's stock plunging on fears over its financial health, the company is widely seen as better placed among the EV startups such as Lucid and Fisker.
Rivian has so far avoided cutting prices of its vehicles, betting instead on sustainable demand.
The company last month signed a deal for its electric vehicles with U.S. wireless carrier AT&T, the first after its exclusivity pact with Amazon ended in November.
Some analysts said on Tuesday the Rivian R1T pickup truck, which starts at $73,000, is unlikely to face major competition from Tesla's Cybertruck, unveiled in late November.
(Reporting by Zaheer Kachwala in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)