Electric semi truck maker Nikola (NKLA -3.85%) has had a troubled young life after its former founder and chairman was forced to resign and subsequently charged with investor fraud. But Trevor Milton has been out of the company for more than a year-and-a-half now, and Nikola is making progress to reset its reputation with investors.
Investors lost respect and hope for the company after Milton made claims about the company and its technology that weren't factual at the time. But Nikola kept working toward its goals under new management, and the first-quarter report released today shows the fruits of that labor. Investors are giving the results a thumbs-up, too.
But management, and the stock, still have a long way to go. Nikola shares have dropped 72% since Milton's resignation in September 2020. Today's update, however, could be a catalyst to get the stock back onto a better path.
Even in the face of supply chain constraints that are affecting many automakers, Nikola maintained its guidance to have 300 to 500 battery electric vehicles (BEVs) produced and shipped in 2022. That would represent meaningful revenue of $90 million to $150 million.
Just as importantly, the company has its initial hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) being pilot-tested by customers, and plans to have a batch of six produced and ready for the next phase of beta testing by the end of the third quarter of 2022. After validation of the beta fleet, Nikola expects to begin commercial production in the second half of next year.
As that progresses, Nikola is also working with others to build out hydrogen infrastructure including dispensing stations and production hubs. If its progress with the FCEV stays on track and BEV customers continue to order new vehicles, today could be just the start of Nikola stock beginning to reverse its months-long slide.