What happened

Shares of electric-truck maker Workhorse Group (WKHS -2.29%) were trading sharply lower on Monday, after the company announced first-quarter results that fell well short of Wall Street's expectations.

As of 1:30 p.m. EDT today, Workhorse's shares were down about 14.8% from Friday's closing price.

So what

Workhorse announced its first-quarter results before the U.S. markets opened on Monday, and they weren't good. The company managed to deliver just six of its electric C-Series delivery vans in the first quarter, generating revenue of $521,060. (That's not a typo.) 

Wall Street's expectations weren't huge, but analysts on average were expecting revenue of more than four times that figure.

A red Workhorse C-650, an electric package-delivery van, in a residential driveway.

Workhorse delivered six of its C-Series electric package-delivery vans in the first quarter. Wall Street had expected more. Image source: Workhorse Group.

Workhorse attributed its low first-quarter delivery total to a few different causes, including suppler woes, rising commodity costs, and extra work in its factory to ensure quality. On the bright side, such as it is, Workhorse said that its production bottlenecks were largely resolved in April and that (as of Monday morning) it had manufactured a total of 38 vehicles in 2021.

Workhorse's adjusted operating loss of $16.4 million was actually a little better than Wall Street expected. Its net loss of $120.5 million was shockingly high, but fortunately for auto investors, that was a non-cash charge related to the company's 10% stake in electric pickup start-up Lordstown Motors (RIDE 2.94%). Lordstown's stock price fell about 41% in the first quarter.

Why is the stock down today? All of the above, but mostly because investors' dreams of market domination now seem further away than ever. 

Now what

The production numbers will get bigger as the year goes on, but not a lot bigger. Workhorse said that it now expects to deliver about 1,000 of its C-Series package vans in 2021. Of course, that expectation assumes that its operational issues are truly resolved, and I think investors would be wise to wait and see on that front.