Nikola (NKLA 1.91%) shares spiked 15% Thursday morning after the company reported its first-quarter financial and operational update. The electric heavy-truck maker's stock pared some of those gains, but remained 5.8% higher as of 11:14 a.m. ET.
Nikola said it remains on track to produce and deliver between 300 and 500 of its battery electric semitrucks this year. That could bring in up to $150 million in revenue. The company already reported almost $2 million in service revenue in the first quarter. That handily beat analyst expectations of $100,000, according to Refinitiv consensus estimates. The quarterly loss was also better than anticipated by analysts.
Nikola's business hit several milestones in the first quarter. The final 10 of a fleet of 40 battery electric vehicles (BEVs) being used for customer testing, dealer demos, and internal research and development came off the production line. Additionally, the first 11 commercially salable Tre BEV trucks were produced and delivered to dealers in April.
Management said its dealers already have purchase orders for 134 trucks from customers taking advantage of California's Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project. Nikola also has customer purchase orders, letters of intent, and memorandums of understanding for a total of 510 trucks.
While the company didn't specify the breakdown on how many were purchase orders, Nikola said its testing and trials with several customers are going well. It said it successfully completed pilot testing with two customers and has ongoing pilot testing with several others.
The takeaway for investors is that the business is operating as planned, and there is real demand in the market for its trucks. Nikola still needs to execute as it ramps up production, but today's report was good news and the stock is reacting accordingly.