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2 Top SPAC Stocks to Buy Amid the Market Carnage

By Evan Niu, CFA - Updated Mar 7, 2021 at 9:56AM

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The recent volatility is offering opportunities for patient investors.

The past two weeks have been completely brutal for riskier asset classes such as tech stocks and special-purpose acquisition companies (SPACs). Many growth companies that enjoyed stellar gains in 2020 have aggressively sold off, as rising interest rates have been rattling investors. Many SPAC targets are pre-revenue, so it should come as little surprise that they entail a high level of risk. But the market carnage actually presents opportunities for long-term investors to scoop up shares cheap -- as long as you're able to stomach the volatility.

Here are two SPACs, both of which have announced targets, that are worth buying right now.

Lucid Air sedan in white, with a house in the background

Image source: Lucid Motors.

Churchill Capital IV: Lucid Motors

After confirming last month that it is merging with Lucid Motors, Churchill Capital IV (CCIV) has fallen from nearly $65 to around $22. There was little doubt that the SPAC was overvalued at those highs, setting it up for a classic case of "buy the rumor, sell the news." Still, now that the deal's structure has been confirmed, there's a lot to like about the aspiring electric vehicle (EV) maker.

Churchill Capital was able to get institutional investors participating in the PIPE (private investment in public equity) at $15 per share, an unprecedented deal. That will minimize the dilution associated with those heavyweights, while allowing Lucid to raise $4.4 billion in fresh capital that will be instrumental in entering the capital-intensive auto industry.

Some investors may have also been disappointed that Lucid decided to delay the launch of Lucid Air, its flagship sedan, from this spring to the second half of 2021. But it's worth noting that Lucid CEO Peter Rawlinson made that call based on advice from Alan Mulally, the former Ford CEO that is on Churchill's operating team. The company will take a few extra months to fine tune the product's quality, which is the right decision for a $170,000 vehicle that will establish Lucid's brand and showcase its technology.

Lucid is pre-revenue, so the stock will likely remain extremely volatile for the foreseeable future. However, Lucid is on the cusp of volume production, and the company has already completed the first phase of its factory in Arizona. Once deliveries commence and production ramps, sales will start to grow exponentially. The company is forecasting nearly $10 billion in revenue in 2024, following the scheduled launch of the Gravity SUV in 2023.

There will be plenty of execution risks, as scaling vehicle production is a daunting task, and there will surely be dilutive capital raises in the years ahead. But Lucid's senior management team is comprised of experienced auto industry veterans. The company has incredible potential to become a technological leader in the booming EV market, handsomely rewarding patient investors.

Lucid is expected to close its merger in the second quarter.

SoFi logo

Image source: SoFi.

Social Capital Hedosophia V: SoFi

Unlike many pre-revenue SPAC targets, Social Finance (SoFi) already has a large and growing revenue base. The fintech start-up, which announced in January that it would merge with Social Capital Hedosophia V (IPOE), estimates that it generated $621 million in adjusted net revenue in 2020, up from $451 million in 2019. Having a relatively more mature business with an established revenue base should make the stock less volatile, but shares may be unfairly being grouped with other SPACs.

SoFi is working to get a bank charter, which will reduce its cost of capital, improving profitability and helping to fund future growth as the company plans to keep expanding into new areas with additional financial services and products. SoFi already has 1.7 million members, and account growth has been steadily accelerating over the past six quarters. Total members are expected to hit 3 million in 2021, and adjusted net revenue is expected to climb to $3.7 billion by 2025.

The company is also expanding into back-end infrastructure, aspiring to become the "AWS of fintech," referring to Amazon's dominant cloud computing platform. SoFi acquired Galileo, which operates a financial services API (application programming interface) and payments platform, last year, and also owns one-sixth of Apex Clearing (which is also going public by merging with SPAC Northern Star II).

SoFi will raise approximately $1.9 billion from the merger, which is expected to close by the end of the month.

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Stocks Mentioned

Churchill Capital Corp IV Stock Quote
Churchill Capital Corp IV
CCIV
Ford Motor Company Stock Quote
Ford Motor Company
F
$12.79 (-5.43%) $0.73
Amazon.com, Inc. Stock Quote
Amazon.com, Inc.
AMZN
$2,143.55 (-7.10%) $-163.82
Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings Corp. V Stock Quote
Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings Corp. V
IPOE

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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