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Things are going from bad to worse for Nikola (NKLA). For a stock that was on fire during the year’s first half, the electric truck maker’s comedown has been brutal. A series of events – allegations of fraud committed by founder Trevor Milton, his subsequent resignation, a severely underwhelming deal with General Motors – have sent investors to the exit gates.
Now it looks like even the trash wants nothing to do with Nikola.
On Wednesday, the company announced that its plan to design and build BEV garbage refuse trucks for waste collection company Republic Services has collapsed.
The company has cited that the cost to build the trucks would be higher than expected and would take too long, after both sides concluded that building the refuse truck using the Nikola Tre as its base would not work.
The market, evidently, did not like the latest setback and shares dropped nearly 20% over the past two trading sessions.
Deutsche Bank analyst Emmanuel Rosner puts the disappointment down to the fact “RSG was Nikola Tre’s only external customer announced so far, and was perceived as providing some external validation of its economics.”
However, putting a positive spin on proceedings, the analyst thinks the deal’s severance could work in Nikola’s favor.
“The refuse truck would have required large expenditures that were not necessarily transferable to other core business pursuits and the TAM is also relatively small,” the analyst noted.
That said, Nikola has other issues to contend with; the analyst feels uneasy about the development of Nikola’s BEV truck, which is anticipated for late 2021. Although the first trucks have been manufactured and are currently in the testing phase, “no customers have been announced yet, and Nikola’s economics with it could be unfavorable for years.”
“Overall,” Rosner summed up, “We remain on the sidelines of NKLA, and will be studying closely some of the milestones expected to be announced in 1H21, including a potential hydrogen infrastructure partner.”
Accordingly, the analyst rates NKLA shares a Hold, although he might as well have said Buy — because his $26 price target implies ~88% upside from current levels. (To watch Rosner’s track record, click here)
Rosner’s colleagues think Nikola is worth a punt. The average price target is a touch higher than Rosner’s and at $26.67 implies gains of 92.5%. All in all, the stock has a Moderate Buy consensus rating based on 3 Buys, 4 Holds and 1 Sell. (See NKLA stock analysis on TipRanks)
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analyst. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.