Shares of Chinese electric vehicle maker NIO (NIO -5.62%) were trading higher on Thursday morning, after a Wall Street analyst initiated coverage of the company with a bullish note.
As of 10:30 a.m. EST, NIO's American depositary shares were up about 4.6% from Wednesday's closing price.
In a new note released after the U.S. markets closed on Wednesday, Mizuho analyst Vijay Rakesh initiated coverage of NIO with a buy rating and a price target of $60.
Rakesh wrote that NIO is a "leader and innovator" in the upscale electric-vehicle segment in China, which in turn is the largest global market for electric vehicles. The analyst sees the company's upscale offerings, which can have a lower up-front price than rivals' if the buyer opts for NIO's battery-subscription service, provide a "key differentiator" from electric vehicle peers.
Rakesh thinks NIO has "significant upside" ahead as it expands within China, and when it enters the European market later this year.
During NIO's fourth-quarter earnings call on March 1, CEO William Bin Li confirmed that NIO plans to begin sales in Europe sometime in the second half of 2021. The company has hinted that its European sales will begin in Norway, which has the highest rate of EV adoption in the world; Chinese EV rival XPeng began sales in Norway in December.