NIO (NIO 0.42%), a leader in China's premium electric vehicle market and a company many refer to as China's Tesla, is bouncing higher Wednesday after yet another analyst upgraded the stock.
J.P. Morgan bumped NIO from an underweight rating to neutral noting the following: "Over the past few months, NIO has been able to successfully secure funding through both a convertible note and government support. Now we believe that the rise of Tesla's Model 3, while clearly squeezing out small Chinese EV players, could lead to an emerging structural wave of B (i.e. corporate) to C (individual) customers in the passenger EV market, which we did not anticipate." J.P. Morgan bumped NIO's price target from $2 to $3.50.
NIO investors have been on a wild ride over the past year as the company's pile of cash dwindled and the electric vehicle market, and broader automotive industry, was rocked by the coronavirus pandemic.
J.P. Morgan's upgrade came a day after Bank of America turned bullish, lifting NIO to a buy rating and moving its price target to $5. Another reason for optimism was that China recorded its first automotive sales gain in 21 months in April. The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers says April sales were up 4.4% to 2.07 million vehicles, which was certainly a bright spot compared to the drastic 42% drop during the first quarter as China was slammed by COVID-19.
NIO secured long-term funding last month and with China sales rebounding, the stock is driving higher. But investors would be wise to tune into the company's first-quarter 2020 financial results Thursday, May 28, to hear exactly what management thinks about COVID-19 and demand for its electric vehicles.