Lordstown Motors (RIDE -1.43%) announced its first-quarter financial update after the bell Monday, and investors got a mixed bag. Shares of the aspiring electric pickup-truck manufacturer began a more than 50% slide in March when a short-seller report questioned the accuracy of its order book, as well as its ability to begin production on schedule later this year.
Today's announcement did confirm that the company still plans to begin production of its Endurance pickup truck by the end of September, but volume would be "at best" 50% of previous estimates. In addition, the company said it is seeking to raise additional capital to fund its start-up plans.
Lordstown said it has completed production of 48 out of 57 prototype Endurance vehicles, and it said it is on track to achieve its expected five-star crash rating. But it also said operating expenses for 2021 are going to exceed previously announced levels by $115 million at the midpoint of guidance, and it will therefore need to raise additional capital. CEO Steve Burns added in a statement, "We believe we have several opportunities to raise capital in various forms and have begun those discussions."
The March short-seller report questioned whether the company had actual commitments for orders, or just inquiries. Today, Lordstown said in a related comment, "we anticipate an acceleration of purchase commitments going into the second half of the year."
After Lordstown's management said it will host visitors including investors, customers, and suppliers from June 21 to 25 at an event at its plant in Ohio, the company's shares spiked. But today's financial update seems to be leaving more questions that the company will have to answer at the Lordstown Week event.