What happened

Shares of Chinese electric-scooter maker Niu Technologies (NASDAQ:NIU) had a great year in 2020, rising more than 200%. Those gains continued on Tuesday, with shares 11% above Monday's closing price, as of 2 p.m. EST.

So what

Last week, Niu provided a business update and reported fourth-quarter sales of its smart scooters grew 41% compared to the prior-year period. While the Chinese market still dominates its sales volume, the company reported that international sales almost tripled in the fourth quarter. 

Niu NQi series e-scooter

Niu NQi series e-scooter. Image source: Niu Technologies.

Now what

Niu offers smart, battery-electric scooters, motorcycles, and bicycles for urban use. Its mopeds reach a top speed of about 44 mph, with a range up to 87 miles on some models. 

Total sales volume for 2020 grew by 43% over 2019 levels. The company said it has more than 20% market share in China in the fourth quarter from its latest models. Sales growth slowed during the pandemic crisis, but by the third quarter, revenue growth approached pre-pandemic levels of 40%. 

Investors interested in the space should follow the company's final fourth-quarter earnings release, and pay attention to both domestic and international volume growth. The company is now valued at about a $3 billion market capitalization, and sports a high-single-digit price-to-sales ratio. That is not particularly expensive if revenue continues to grow at 40% or more. 

The company hasn't yet announced the timing for its fourth-quarter and full-year financial release, but investors should be able to look for it in mid-March based on last year's announcement. 

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.