Stock Market

Mullen Automotive (NASDAQ:MULN) stock has reached its put up or shut up moment.

The electric vehicle start-up says it will begin producing Class 3 trucks at a plant in Mississippi next month. It claims to have $279 million of orders from Randy Marion Automotive, based in North Carolina. This is on top of a $200 million order for vans the dealer gave it last year.

The result should be revenue starting in the third quarter. Mullen had no revenue in the March quarter.

Only when there is revenue will investors be able to start evaluating Mullen’s chances of survival.

MULN Mullen Automotive $0.68

Survival on the Line

Right now, Mullen’s survival is far from certain. Mullen had less than $87 million in cash at the end of March. It went through $21.6 million of cash during the March quarter. It can’t sell more shares, given their recent performance. MULN stock has a market cap of $129 million. It hasn’t traded over $1/share since May 22.

InvestorPlace analysts are busy warning people away. Our Louis Navillier notes that the current Mullen stock price reflects a 1:25 reverse split in May. Get out while you can, writes our David Moadel. Another recent analysis, at Seeking Alpha, says it’s not worth your hard-earned money.

Bad news is not new for Mullen investors. I wrote in December that Mullen’s purchases of two other troubled EV start-ups, ELMS and Bollinger, had failed to move the stock. In January, Navillier wrote that Mullen belongs in the stock market junkyard. It’s never a good look when the CEO is selling shares while they collapse. Michery dumped over 2.5 million shares last year.

The Bull Case for MULN Stock

There is a bull case for Mullen stock. A site called Green Car Stocks offered a positive appraisal of the company’s prospects late last month. A May story in MarketBeat claimed that the company continues to build momentum.

I just wouldn’t buy an argument that starts with a potential short squeeze. Gains in the overall market have brought back speculators anxious to prop up failing companies where professionals are betting on disaster. But these are shark infested waters.

There have been reports of Mullen having twice as many shorts as shares, which would be a good reason to go long. But our Eddie Pan investigated and found that’s just not true. The claims didn’t account for the reverse stock split.

Still, hope springs eternal. Moadel thinks Mullen stock may be overdue for a bounce, on the opening of production in Mississippi. If it can make trucks and vans, if it can sell them and get them serviced, the company may have a future, he writes.

The Bottom Line

Hope is not a plan My late mother used to explain it this way. “If ifs and buts were candy and nuts we’d have a Merry Christmas.” It’s hard to buy any argument based on assumptions, in other words. Especially when it comes to money.

That’s the problem with Mullen. There are plenty of places in the stock market worthy of speculation. Most of 2023’s gains have come from just a handful of big tech stocks. Most stocks, even in good companies, remain in bear market territory.

This tells me you don’t have to stretch for gains. You don’t have to speculate on maybe. You don’t have to buy companies like Mullen. Nothing in this speculative sector is going to the Moon. Except maybe Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA).

At the time of publication, Dana Blankenhorn owned no shares, directly or indirectly, in any company mentioned in this article.

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