Electric semi-truck start-up Nikola (NKLA 9.49%) released its third-quarter report Thursday, and there were several things in it that pleased investors. Among them, the report offered more clarity about the ramifications of a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigation into the alleged misbehavior of the company under former Chairman Trevor Milton.
As of 11:21 a.m. EDT, the stock had jumped by about 10.3%.
The company has yet to begin delivering its electric semi-trucks to buyers, and announced a $0.22 per share loss for the quarter. That was better than the expected loss of $0.28 per share expected by analysts. But investors were more focused on what the company had to say about its schedule for beginning truck deliveries and the potential resolution of the SEC investigation.
Nikola said that it is on track to deliver up to 25 of its Tre battery electric vehicles to dealers and customers by the end of this year. It also said that to date, it has built seven hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles that are in testing, and that its fuel cell truck development remains on schedule.
Investors were doubtless glad to hear that the company is still on track with its business timeline, and that there may soon be a resolution of its SEC case. Milton, who also founded the company, was forced to resign as chairman last fall amid accusations of misleading investors. He is personally facing charges of securities fraud, but the company is also likely to separately face civil penalties.
On Thursday, Nikola announced that it had set aside $125 million to be paid in installments if the SEC approves the resolution that it has been negotiating. Nikola also said that it intends to seek compensation from Milton "for costs and damages in connection with the government and regulatory investigations."
The jump that the stock took Thursday morning shows that investors recognize the continued progress that the underlying business is making, as well as the value of Nikola perhaps being able to put the SEC investigation in the rear-view mirror.