Kandi Technologies Group (NASDAQ:KNDI) shareholders may not necessarily see 2014 as a great year. The stock nearly tripled in 2013, but it's closing out this year barely above the $11.79 price it was at when the year began. That will change over time, and the positive shift may begin as early as Tuesday, when the Chinese electric car maker and car sharing pioneer hosts its annual shareholder meeting.
There won't be a lot of fireworks at the event. There's no scintillating proxy battle to deal with here. It will just be a modest powwow to elect directors for the upcoming year and conduct an advisory vote for executive compensation.
However, with Kandi likely to reflect on its achievements, it should become evident that 2014 was a pretty good year for the company -- even if it wasn't as lucrative as it could have been for its stakeholders.
After all, revenue may have climbed 47% last year, but Kandi's top line has shot 167% higher through the first nine months of 2014. Kandi was still losing money through 2013 as it was building on its roots as a producer of ATVs, go-karts, and other recreational vehicles to make a splash in the promising realm of electric cars. Now, however, it's coming off of back-to-back quarters of adjusted profitability.
The stock chart obscures the fundamentals. The market will see a stock that began the year in the single digits, skyrocketed to a summertime peak of $22.49, and went on to give most of those gains back by the end of the year. In reality, some of Kandi's biggest accomplishments have been taking place as the stock has shifted into reverse.
A year ago, Kandi was making waves with the head-turning car sharing platform that it was championing on its home turf in a partnership with auto giant Geely. Today it has expanded into a few new and potentially larger Chinese markets.
You don't even have to stretch all the way back through 2014 to see how far Kandi has come. Let's go over some of the developments at Kandi in the month of December alone.
- Kandi's joint venture with Geely announced the sale and delivery of 1,000 electric vehicles for a car-sharing program in Chengdu City.
- The same joint venture announced the delivery of 700 cars for a similar auto-sharing plan for Guangzhou City.
- A delegation helmed by China's Science and Technology Minister visited Kandi's headquarters as well as one of its car sharing smart garages and charging stations. He offered up public praise and support for Kandi's innovative system. That's a pretty big deal -- to combat China's notorious smog, the government is handing out subsidies to China-based makers of electric vehicles. Kandi's joint venture announced earlier this month that it had received a $31.8 million subsidy for the cars it sold during the second quarter of this year.
Add it all up and it was a noteworthy month during a noteworthy year. The market isn't convinced yet. It's been burned by high-flying Chinese stocks, and it doesn't help that Kandi is still the subject of an SEC investigation. However, with Chinese officials visiting Kandi's facilities a week ago and lavishing the fast-growing company with praise, it's highly unlikely that this is a company that's pulling a fast one on Mr. Market, as some of the Chinese stocks that have imploded in the past have.
Kandi shares may not be living up to its improving fundamentals, and with 7.5 million shares sold short it seems as if the positive developments haven't resulted in a material short squeeze. No matter what story the stock chart may ultimately tell, however, 2014 was a solid year for Kandi.
Rick Munarriz owns shares of Kandi Technologies. The Motley Fool recommends Kandi Technologies. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.