Lucid Group (LCID 4.30%) just released its third-quarter production figures and gave investors an update on its full-year outlook. And after several cuts to its guidance earlier this year, the luxury electric vehicle (EV) maker hit its targets.
In the third quarter, Lucid manufactured 2,282 vehicles and delivered 1,398 to customers. This is more than three times the number of vehicles the company produced in the second quarter. For the full year, Lucid is on track to produce between 6,000 and 7,000 vehicles, which is consistent with the latest guidance it gave investors in August. Although it is planning other models in the future, all of these sales are of the company's Air sedan, which received MotorTrend's Car of the Year honor.
Take the news with a big grain of salt
On one hand, Lucid successfully ramped up production after a difficult second quarter. Another way to state the production numbers is that the company produced vehicles at an annualized pace of more than 9,000, which is a strong sign for the fourth quarter and beyond. And based on the current guidance range Lucid just affirmed, the company will need to ramp up production even further in the fourth quarter to a range of about 2,500 to 3,500 vehicles.
However, production is still far below where Lucid had expected it to be earlier in the year. Its initial guidance called for production of 20,000 Air sedans, which was quickly slashed to a range of 12,000 to 14,000 in February, and again to the current range of 6,000 to 7,000 in August. So, while Lucid met its expectations in the third quarter, these are sharply reduced expectations.
It's important to note that simply meeting its latest targets is a much-needed sign of stability after several quarters of guidance cuts, supply chain problems, and other headaches. In other words, the fact that Lucid didn't cut its guidance again is likely causing investors to breathe a sigh of relief.
Is Lucid a buy?
Even after a modest rally on the heels of this news, Lucid's stock price is down by about 20% in the past week alone and is a staggering 77% below its 52-week high.
There are certainly some promising catalysts. The company had about 37,000 reservations on the books for its Air sedan in August, and recently announced its $250,000 Sapphire version, which aims to be the best-performing electric vehicle in the world once production starts. More demand than supply capability is far from the worst problem a company can face, especially now that it looks like supply chain bottlenecks are finally starting to subside.
Lucid is a long way from profitability, and to be perfectly clear, remains a rather speculative investment at this point. The company lost nearly $2 billion over the past four quarters as it ramped up production, and investors will get a look at how these Q3 production and delivery numbers translated into dollars when the company reports earnings on Nov. 8. However, with $4.3 billion in cash and short-term investments on its balance sheet, Lucid still has plenty of runway to get production up to a self-sustaining level, and today's news is a welcome sign that it's on the right track.