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Where to Look for the Best Electric-Vehicle Stocks Now

By John Rosevear - Feb 6, 2021 at 8:06AM

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With valuations so high, where are the best buys?

Electric-vehicle stocks have drawn huge interest from investors over the last year -- so much interest that many of them are now sporting huge valuations that might not be justified by their fundamentals for years, if ever. 

Are there any decent buys left in the space? In a recent appearance on Motley Fool Live, recorded on Jan. 12Industry Focus host Nick Sciple and senior auto specialist John Rosevear explained where they think the best buys are now for new money in the electric-vehicle space. 

A transcript is below the video. 

Nick Sciple: BFF Larry says, "If you could only buy one EV stock, which one would it be now at these valuations?"

John Rosevear: General Motors (GM 1.35%). [laughs]

Nick Sciple: Yeah.

John Rosevear: That's mostly a valuation argument. Is Tesla (TSLA 1.24%) a ten-bagger from here? Yeah, probably not. GM is not a ten-bagger from here, but GM will go back to paying a dividend probably later this year. That counts for something. Is NIO (NIO -1.66%) a ten-bagger from here? Is NIO a trillion dollar company? This is a company that sold 43,000 vehicles last year. That is not even a month of F-150s. [laughs]

You say, "Yeah. They've got Chinese government support. They could be selling a few million vehicles a year by 2025, 2027." That's absolutely true. Then in terms of business they're BMW (BMWYY 0.35%), which is a $100 million company, or was before 2020. What's that worth now, seven years out? It's hard to say. I can't point to anything really.

Probably the best place to look is in the old-guard companies that are adapting. There's a big auto industry supplier, Magna International (MGA 1.62%) that we've talked about a bit in the past. Ticker is MGA. That is a company that has its fingers in a lot of electric and self-driving pies. They're I think the third largest global auto supplier by revenue. They are involved with little start-ups like Fisker (FSR -0.23%), and great big companies like Jaguar Land Rover. They built the [Jaguar electric] I-Pace under contract. They're going to build Fisker's vehicle under contract. They have been working with Sony (SONY -0.11%), remember Sony, the consumer electronics company, on an electric vehicle. In fact Sony released a video of it today apparently. I haven't had a chance to watch it yet, but I saw a mention of it on Twitter that they had a thing at CES with some news on the vehicle they developed. It's not clear whether they going to build it yet, but the fact that they're working with Magna, which could most certainly manufacture the vehicle under contract is suggestive that they are at least thinking strongly about it.

Magna works in countless other places with countless other automakers, big and small. The stock has gone up a bit over the last year. But if you look at the potential for future business, and how the company has positioned itself, that might be one to look at more closely. Don't sleep on General Motors. I would say don't sleep on Volkswagen (VWAGY 0.11%). I might say Volkswagen stock is already expensive. To go back to an answer I was giving a decade ago, you could do worse than buying Ford (F 1.71%) right now as well.

Nick Sciple: I'm with you on Magna, John, I think that's an interesting way to invest in this space there. I think they're are doing a good job making some deals that are exciting as you mentioned, and we've talked about, for a couple of years, or we can have like a Foxconn of cars. Like we've talked about maybe Hyundai (HYMTF 2.71%) is going to do a deal with Apple (AAPL 1.62%) to help supply for them. If you want to make that narrative, and you mentioned Sony right there too, that's another consumer electronics company that maybe getting in the car space. If you want to tell that story of we're heading to like a Foxconn of cars thing. I think Magna is one of those companies that could be a beneficiary.

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Stocks Mentioned

Magna International Inc. Stock Quote
Magna International Inc.
$55.79 (1.62%) $0.89
Apple Inc. Stock Quote
Apple Inc.
$138.93 (1.62%) $2.21
Ford Motor Company Stock Quote
Ford Motor Company
$11.32 (1.71%) $0.19
Sony Corporation Stock Quote
Sony Corporation
$81.68 (-0.11%) $0.09
General Motors Company Stock Quote
General Motors Company
$32.19 (1.35%) $0.43
Tesla, Inc. Stock Quote
Tesla, Inc.
$681.79 (1.24%) $8.37
Hyundai Motor Company Stock Quote
Hyundai Motor Company
$34.45 (2.71%) $0.91
Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft Stock Quote
Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft
$18.24 (0.11%) $0.02
Bayerische Motoren Werke Aktiengesellschaft Stock Quote
Bayerische Motoren Werke Aktiengesellschaft
$25.88 (0.35%) $0.09
Nio Inc. Stock Quote
Nio Inc.
$21.36 (-1.66%) $0.36
Fisker, Inc. Stock Quote
Fisker, Inc.
$8.55 (-0.23%) $0.02

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