Rivian Automotive is a runaway hit with its R1T pickup and R1S SUV in the eyes of owners and automotive journalists, but the electric vehicle startup is no longer a Wall Street darling due to missed production targets and concern over easing demand in today’s economic climate.
When the automaker reports third-quarter earnings on Wednesday after the market close, financial analysts are expecting revenue of about $552 million on improving deliveries of its adventure vehicles, but also another net loss similar to Rivian’s $1.7 billion loss in the second quarter.
The mean estimate from 16 analysts, based on Refinitiv data, is for a loss of $1.82 per share despite revenue rising from just $1 million in the same period a year ago, Reuters said. Rivian launched the R1T electric pickup in the fourth quarter of 2022 to widespread acclaim.
CEO RJ Scaringe, who has been under pressure to increase production of Rivian’s consumer vehicles and electric delivery vans, is likely to face questions on the earnings call over demand as interest rates rise and the economy cools.
The automaker said in early October that it produced 7,363 vehicles at its Illinois plant in the third quarter and delivered 6,584 vehicles. Rivian said it expects to meet its full-year production target of 25,000 units for the three vehicles it sells. The company does not break down production by model.
Rivian has struggled to meet demand amid supply chain challenges. The company’s most recent public statement on its order backlog put pre-orders at 98,000 for the R1T and R1S as of June 30. Separately, Amazon has an initial order for 100,000 EDV vehicles.
Scaringe may also face questions over plans to build a second plant in Georgia for the company’s smaller R2 platform, designed for more mainstream vehicles. Rivian has said it has enough cash to build the factory and produce the new models.
Bloomberg said on Tuesday that the EV maker has lost almost $125 billion in market value since its initial public offering last year. Rivian shares were trading at about $32 late Tuesday afternoon, down roughly 60 percent from their $78 offering price on Nov. 9, 2021.
“The market is transitioning from one that was dependent upon stimulus both fiscal and monetary, into a period of fundamentals,” Wiley Angell, chief market strategist at Ziegler Capital Management, told Bloomberg. “The Federal Reserve is making some very dramatic moves, and we are still in a period where I would prefer stable companies with less risk, and that does not favor a company like Rivian.”