2 Commercial EV SPAC Stocks Report Q1 Earnings: What You Need to Know

Following a rough couple of months for electric vehicle (EV) companies going public by merging with special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs), investor sentiment seems to be slowly improving as the companies close their deals and start reporting financial results. Two such companies producing commercial EVs, both of which have completed their de-SPAC transactions, are Lion Electric (NYSE: LEV) and Lightning eMotors (NYSE: ZEV).

Both companies reported first quarter earnings results this week. Here’s what EV investors need to know.

Lion delivers 24 EVs

Lion announced that it had delivered 24 vehicles in the first quarter, up from just 2 in the year-ago quarter. Those volumes consisted of 18 school buses and 6 heavy-duty trucks. That resulted in revenue of $6.2 million and negative gross margin. Lion’s net loss was $16.1 million, or $0.15 per share.

The company said its order book had grown to 817 vehicles, including 209 trucks and 608 buses and representing over $225 million in order value once those EVs are delivered. Lion also secured an order of 260 electric school buses from First Student, an operator of zero-emission school buses in North America. The deal is the largest order that Lion has received in its history.

Lion is one of the handful of commercial EV companies that Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) has selected to supply electric delivery vehicles, and the company noted that it delivered 10 Lion6 trucks to the e-commerce behemoth after the close of the first quarter. 

The merger with Northern Genesis Acquisition Corp closed earlier this month, resulting in cash proceeds of approximately $490 million to the combined company. Lion used roughly $90 million of that money to repay outstanding debt and now owes just $12 million to creditors.

Lightning delivers 31 EVs

Lightning eMotors said that it handed over 31 commercial EVs to customers in the first quarter, generating $4.6 million in revenue. However, supply chain challenges impacted the company’s results and led to a negative gross margin. Lightning’s net loss for the quarter was $27.4 million, or $5.64 per share.

Lightning’s backlog is now $169 million thanks to increased orders and strong demand. The company says that its sales pipeline now stands at $807 million, but warns that this pipeline “may not be indicative of future sales.”

Lightning is also providing electric delivery vans to Amazon, but did not mention delivering any this quarter. However, the company did note that it delivered some EVs to DHL, the subsidiary of German shipping giant Deutsche Post AG (OTC: DPSGY). Lightning scored a major order from DHL earlier this year.

The combination with GigCapital3 was also completed earlier this month, adding $216.8 million in net proceeds to Lightning’s balance sheet.

Guidance for 2021 calls for revenue in the range of $50 million to $60 million, with vehicle and powertrain sales of 500 units. The ongoing supply chain issues are expected to result in a negative gross margin for the year, but Lightning expects profitability to progressively improve in the quarters ahead.

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Evan Niu, CFA owns shares of Lightning eMotors, Inc and The Lion Electric Company. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Millennial Money is part of The Motley Fool network. Millennial Money has a disclosure policy.

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