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Why NIO Stock Is Higher Today

By John Rosevear - May 3, 2021 at 10:37AM

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April deliveries were down a bit from March, but they were good enough for Wall Street.

What happened

Shares of Chinese electric vehicle maker NIO (NIO 3.84%) were moving higher in early trading on Monday, after the company's April sales numbers showed it to be on track to meet its guidance for the second quarter.

As of 10:30 a.m. EDT today, NIO's American depositary shares were up about 4% from Friday's closing price.

So what

NIO said on Saturday that it delivered 7,102 vehicles in April. That was down slightly from the 7,257 vehicles it delivered in March, but it was a good showing amid a shortage of semiconductors that has forced NIO and other automakers to reduce production. 

A dark blue NIO ES8, a large electric luxury crossover SUV.

NIO's flagship ES8, launched in 2018, got an overhaul and a longer-range battery option last year. Sales have been good through the first four months of 2021. Image source: NIO.

NIO warned last week that the chip shortage will limit its ability to increase production as planned. NIO upgraded its production line over the winter and now has the capacity to make about 10,000 vehicles per month, but the shortage of chips will keep its monthly output between 7,000 and 7,500 for the time being, CEO William Bin Li told auto investors last week. 

In line with those numbers, NIO's second-quarter production guidance calls for deliveries of between 21,000 and 22,000 vehicles. That would be roughly double its year-ago total and up about 10% from the first quarter. 

The stock was moving up on Monday because April's delivery total was comfortably in line with last week's guidance, and because two Wall Street analysts took note of that. 

Now what

NIO's April sales reports got good marks from two Wall Street analysts, Morgan Stanley's Tim Hsiao and Mizuho's Vijay Rakesh. The latter raised his price target on NIO to $65 from $60 on Monday on what he sees as a strong first-quarter result and good guidance despite the chip shortage. He maintained his buy rating on the stock. 

In a separate note on Monday morning, Hsiao wrote that demand for NIO's vehicles seems quite strong, and he thinks that will give it some operating flexibility as it works through the chip shortage. He maintained his overweight rating and $64 price target on the shares. 

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