Rivian Automotive (RIVN -4.37%) stock was like a pickup truck on a mountain road this week; it plunged down steeply before picking up a bit of altitude as the days went by. Although the shares were still in the red at nearly 16% week-to-date, according to data compiled by S&P Global Market Intelligence, that decline could have been significantly worse.
Rivian's descent began even before the trading week began. On Saturday, a CNBC report divulged that incumbent car maker Ford Motor (F 1.88%) was to sell 8 million shares of the electric vehicle (EV) specialist's stock.
Although this doesn't mean that Ford is anywhere near giving up on Rivian -- at the time, the auto giant owned 102 million shares in total -- it still spooked investors. When Monday came, they sold off Rivian stock in droves over the next few days, to the point where its price hit a record low on Wednesday.
The CNBC article turned out to be accurate; on Wednesday, it was confirmed that Ford indeed offloaded that stake.
The following day, Rivian stock was thrown into forward gear again after the company released its first-quarter earnings.
These show that -- now that its pickup trucks are rolling off the factory floor -- it booked $95 million on the top line, against zero in the year-ago quarter. Due to a ramp-up in production, labor, and other costs it also posted a non-GAAP (adjusted) net loss of nearly $1.3 billion, well deeper than Q1 2021's $414 million.
Although that revenue figure was notably short of the average analyst estimate, the bottom-line shortfall landed close to expectations. Better, Rivian's production tally of 2,553 pickups for the quarter shows that the company is successfully making product, and the 1,227 shipments indicate that customers are happy to buy it.
Rivian still has quite a long way to go, and the auto industry is a cost-intensive and challenging one. But, judging by their reaction to the earnings news, there are plenty of investors who believe in this company.