What happened

Shares of Chinese electric-vehicle maker NIO (NYSE:NIO) were trading higher on Thursday, after the company reported sales totals for June and the second quarter that exceeded analysts' expectations and its own guidance.

As of 1:15 p.m. EDT, NIO's American depositary shares were up about 16.7% from Wednesday's closing price.

So what

NIO said that it delivered 3,740 of its upscale electric SUVs in June, up 179% from a year ago and an all-time monthly deliveries record for the company. The result boosted its second-quarter deliveries total to 10,331 vehicles, up 191% from the year-ago period and its best-ever quarterly result. 

A blue NIO ES8, an upscale 7-passenger electric crossover SUV.

Sales of NIO's flagship ES8 have risen steadily since a revamped version was launched earlier this year. Image source: NIO.

Auto investors are right to cheer the news. NIO has come a long way since the beginning of 2020, when its cash reserve was dwindling and the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak in China threatened to push it to the brink of bankruptcy. 

But after securing nearly $1 billion in new funding from economic development authorities in April, and with last year's aggressive investments in an expanded sales network starting to pay off, NIO appears to be on a roll.

Now what

Investors are now looking ahead to earnings, and there's more reason for optimism. Noting that NIO's second-quarter sales total exceeded the company's guidance, CFO Steven Feng said on Thursday that he's confident that the company will meet or beat its targets for gross profit margin and "operational efficiency." 

NIO hasn't yet set a date for its second-quarter earnings report, but it's likely to happen sometime in the second half of August.