Lucid’s Order Book and Cash Balance Make It a Real EV Competitor

Stocks to buy

Lucid Group (NASDAQ:LCID) just released its Q3 financial results on Nov. 15, showing that its order book is growing nicely. It is now clearly seen as a real force in the luxury end of the electric vehicle (EV) market. As a result, LCID stock is bound to move substantially higher from here.

The Lucid Motors (LCID) Plant in Arizona.

Source: Around the World Photos / Shutterstock.com

This is in fact what Lucid’s CEO, Peter Rawlinson, told CNBC in a phone interview after the results. He told CNBC there is a “long runway” for LCID stock. He told the interviewer that there is room for its “market value to rise beyond legacy automakers and to eventually be valued more like industry leader Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA).”

For example, LCID stock now has a market capitalization of $89.8 billion, according to Yahoo! Finance. This is higher than Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F) at $79.1 billion, but just still below General Motors (NYSE:GM) at $91 billion. It seems likely though that the momentum for LCID stock will continue.

Where Things Stand for Lucid Group

The company reported that its customer reservations rose to 13,000 as of Sept. 30. Since then, they climbed higher to 17,000. Given that the 13,000 orders represent $1.3 billion in orders, one might conclude that there are now $1.7 billion in orders on standby.

In any case, this shows that the company is clearly on track. For example, the company’s July 2021 investor presentation (page 65) shows that the company intends to deliver 20,000 EVs during 2022. So, having 17,000 in orders already on the books shows that the company is likely already to exceed this production and delivery target.

In fact, at this pace, it may be that the company can now reach its 2023 target of 49,000 EVs delivered. However, analysts still will want to see what the next quarter’s delivery results show.

This is because the production and delivery of its first model, the Lucid Air, did not start until September 2021. In fact, page 5 of the Q3 presentation slide deck shows that deliveries of the model did not start until Oct. 2021. So Q4 will show a little less than one full quarter of ongoing delivery expectations. This is because there are bound to be production and delivery hiccups.

Lucid’s Finances

As of Sept. 30, before production began, the company had $4.8b billion in cash. This is after Lucid had burnt through over $1.045 billion in free cash flow during the past 9 months. This can be seen on page 9 of the Q3 earnings presentation.

However, during the conference call, CFO Sherry House indicated that the company’s capex spending will dramatically increase next year. In addition, it is going to pull forward $350 million of future capex spending to next year.

Nevertheless, she said the company’s $4.8 billion in cash on its balance sheet will get it “well through 2022.” It is not until 2024 that the company will lower its capex spending growth rate.

But, don’t forget, the CEO said Lucid plans on increasing the capacity of their Casa Grande, Arizona production plant to up to 350,000 units. That will entail a much larger capex spending over the next several years.

Where This Leaves LCID Stock

My original target price of $42.87 per share has already occurred, with LCID stock now at $55.52 on Nov. 16. However, I suspect that it still might be able to rise from here.

One reason is clearly Lucid is now on track to deliver the 20K units it originally planned in its production plans (see the slide deck). Therefore, projecting out a bit, analysts now estimate that revenue could reach $1.74 billion by 2022 and $4.1 billion by 2023.

This puts LCID stock on a forward price-to-sales (P/S) multiple of 17.7 times for 2023. That is high valuation but I could see how the market would be willing to use a 20 to 22 times multiple as well. That would raise the market cap to $82 billion to $90.2 billion.

In other words, I would not be surprised to see LCID stock reach a market cap of $100 billion within the next year. That is 11.3% over today’s market value and implies that LCID stock could hit $61.79 or so. That still represents a pretty good ROI for most investors.

On the date of publication, Mark R. Hake did not hold any position (either directly or indirectly) in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

Mark Hake writes about personal finance on mrhake.medium.com and runs the Total Yield Value Guide which you can review here.

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