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Why Lordstown Motors Shot Nearly 9% Higher Today

By Eric Volkman – Jan 3, 2022 at 4:26PM

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We can call it the "Tesla Effect."

What happened

Shares of electric vehicle (EV) company Lordstown Motors (RIDE 0.71%) were off to an electric start for 2022. On the year's first trading day Monday, the stock closed 8.7% higher, although the company did not report any fresh news. Rather, it was a highly encouraging development from a peer that seemed to put the zip in Lordstown shares.

So what

That peer is the No. 1 company in the EV automobile space, the almighty Tesla (TSLA 0.72%). On Monday, Tesla reported 308,600 vehicle deliveries in the fourth quarter, a new record high for the popular company. This was quite the upside surprise, as collectively analysts were forecasting the number would be a mere 263,000.

An outstretched highway, blurred as if passing by.

Image source: Getty Images.

While Tesla is an exceptional business in many respects, this estimates-busting figure clearly illustrates the heavy and enduring demand for EVs from the public. Hence the coattail effect seen with Lordstown and other next-generation auto stocks on the day (such as fellow EV truck maker Lucid Group and China's Nio, both of which also saw notable share price acceleration).

Now what

There are numerous concerns with Lordstown as a business, however. The company is still haunted by a scathing report published last March by short-seller firm Hindenburg Research alleging it was not being honest about its operations.

Among other accusations, Hindenburg said Lordstown was inflating the volume of preorders for its Endurance pickup truck, and being overly optimistic about the start date of Endurance's production.

Compounding that, in July it was revealed that the Department of Justice had opened an investigation into the company.

Since then, Lordstown reached a deal to sell its one and only factory to global electronics manufacturer Foxconn (which, it seems, will be the entity actually producing the Endurance). But the truck has still not rolled off the factory floor, while EV sector peers -- particularly Lucid -- already have models on the market.

Given these factors, then, we shouldn't expect Lordstown's stock price rally to last very long. 

Eric Volkman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns and recommends NIO Inc. and Tesla. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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