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There’s No Need to Catch the Workhorse Falling Knife, Says Analyst

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The wheels came off the bull cart for Workhorse (WKHS) on Tuesday. After several delays and months of speculation, the U.S. Postal Service finally reached a decision on who the coveted contract to renew its aging delivery van fleet would go to. It wasn’t Workhorse.

The 10-year $482 million contract was awarded to Oshkosh, who will now be responsible for putting together 50,000 to 165,000 NGDVs (Next Generation Delivery Vehicle).

Investors of the electric delivery-van start-up, left dejected and deflated, sent shares down 52% over the past two trading sessions.

The rejection is a massive blow to Workhorse, which was considered a front runner for the award. Expected to seriously boost its production numbers, the contract was seen as a major catalyst to catapult the company forward.

So, what now? Colliers analyst Michael Shlisky says “investors may be snake-bitten for some time.”

“Importantly,” the analyst said, “We had never included the USPS RFP (request for proposal) in our valuation of WKHS, simply because the award was always uncertain; as such, we are not altering our estimates at this time.”

However, USPS disappointment aside, ahead of Workhorse’s Q4 results (3/1), other questions remain.

The company has said that Q4’s production output would be soft, due to elevated COVID-19 cases, battery-supply issues, hiring delays, and the implementation of production-floor improvements.

Shlisky will be keen to find out if the production problems have been solved and whether the company is still on track to produce 100 vehicles a month by the end of the first quarter.

The other key issue concerns the growing competition in the final-mile delivery segment. Namely, how does Workhorse plan on standing out in the increasingly crowded space?

Ford, as expected, announced its E-Transit model, but General Motors have also announced the launch of a potential competitor to the Workhorse C-650, the BrightDrop.

Furthermore, Xos Trucks just announced it is going public via a SPAC merger, and so is Ree Auto, which can cater to all types of Classes 1-7 commercial vehicles and is slated to bring in $436 million for its own SPAC-merger transaction.

“When combined with the mixed reads we have been receiving at best,” Shlisky said, “We believe now is not the time to jump-in on the long side for WKHS.”

Accordingly, the analyst rates WKHS a Neutral (i.e. Hold), without suggesting a price target. (To watch Shlisky’s track record, click here)

However, Shlisky’s colleagues do have a price forecast, and after Tuesday’s massive drop, the Street’s $22 average price target could yield gains of ~47% in the year ahead. The analyst consensus rates the stock a Moderate Buy, based on 3 Buys and holds, each. (See WKHS 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.