Nikola made more fuel-cell trucks in Q1 than it did in all of 2023; stock soars

By Emily Bary

Nikola Shares Up 13% After Production Report

Nikola Corp. produced 43 hydrogen-electric trucks in the first quarter, 40 of which were sold wholesale to dealers.

FactSet does not compile analyst expectations for Nikola (NKLA) production numbers. But the first-quarter performance indicates that Nikola is picking up its pace, as the company produced 42 of its hydrogen fuel cell electric trucks in all of 2023, and wholesaled 35 of them.

Shares were up about 13% in Thursday morning action. Nikola shares are up 44% over the past month.

Nikola noted that all vehicles sold wholesale to dealers in the last quarter are destined for its end customers. The remaining three that Nikola produced but not yet wholesaled will be delivered in early April and have already been allocated to customers.

"We are on track to achieve a successful 2024 if we continue the momentum established in 2023," CEO Steve Girsky said in a statement. The company is focused on "delivering on our commitments," not only in terms of production and sales, but also in terms of returning the company's battery electric trucks to customers.

Following a recall last year of the company's battery-electric trucks, Nikola said in Thursday's statement that it "has begun the process of returning BEV '2.0' trucks to customers." The company had been in the process of modernizing the vehicles with new battery packs and software updates.

The latest update comes during a difficult period for the electric vehicle industry, as established players like Tesla Inc. (TSLA) are dealing with cooling demand. Meanwhile, some smaller players are struggling: Canoo Inc. (GOEV) issued a bearish forecast earlier this week and the New York Stock Exchange said in late March that it would begin the process of delisting shares of Fisker Inc. (FSRN) after that company saw talks with a major automaker dissolve.

Read: Fisker withdraws financial guidance as talks to save himself continue

-Emily Bary

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04-04-24 1008ET

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