Is NIO Stock Still a Buy in 2021?

A contemporary “NIO Day” presentation gave merchants a observe at where the corporate plans to trot.

Howard Smith

Electric-vehicle (EV) stocks were just some of the last observe winners of 2020. And even when of us are starting to interrogate the valuations these companies hang executed from investor exuberance, they withhold marching higher. 

Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) has garnered distinguished of the publicity, so it would shock you that shares of Chinese language EV maker NIO (NYSE:NIO) hang greatly outperformed those of Tesla over the final Three hundred and sixty five days. That makes it precious to compare whether or no longer NIO is quiet a hang for 2021. 

grey NIO ET7 sedan

NIO ET7 luxurious sedan. Image source: NIO.

Investor enthusiasm

Tesla’s meteoric rise became as soon as the discipline of many headlines over the closing Three hundred and sixty five days, and led speculative merchants to trot making an strive to search out “the following Tesla.” One glaring situation to observe became as soon as the last observe car market within the enviornment. As currently as early 2020, NIO’s alternate flirted with financial catastrophe. But a push by the Chinese language authorities to hurry up convey within the country’s EV industry contributed to bag sales convey, and merchants piled in. 

NIO Chart

NIO recordsdata by YCharts

Because the stock soared, the corporate additionally took advantage to elevate wished capital. This diluted existing shareholders, as can even be considered from the sooner convey of venture cost when when in contrast with the stock label.  

Sturdy hurry of convey

Whereas no longer rising as swiftly because the share label itself, NIO’s alternate is rising at a extremely bag hurry. Automobile deliveries increased by 113% in 2020 when when in contrast with the prior Three hundred and sixty five days. 2020 represented nearly 60% of the corporate’s total cumulative vehicle deliveries. 

But at upright under 44,000 automobiles, that is quiet decrease than 1/10th of Tesla’s 2020 quantity. NIO is expanding its product offerings with a new luxurious sedan launched on the contemporary “NIO Day” presentation. The ET7, which will be NIO’s first sedan, comes with a new, higher 150 kWh battery pack. This can hang a most differ of about 621 miles, in accordance with the corporate. That’s additional than Tesla’s Model S most differ of 402 miles, as well to the Lucid Motors Air sedan differ of 517 miles. 

Market opportunity

EV sales in China surpassed 1 million in 2020, and the authorities objectives to create bigger that to 5 million by 2025. That quantity may perchance possibly well well reach 10 million by 2030, and near 20 million by 2040, in accordance with learn group BloombergNEF.

Competitors is additionally rising, alternatively. Tesla delivered its first Model Y mid-size SUV from its Shanghai factory upright this month. Different Chinese language EV companies are additionally rising sales at triple-digit rates, so NIO is distinguished from being the chief within the country. Warren Buffett-backed BYD (OTC:BYDDY) supplied nearly 131,000 battery-electric automobiles (BEVs) in 2020, and greater than 460,000 automobiles total.

There is clearly extra room for exponential vehicle sales convey within the impending years, and NIO’s ET7 introduction presentations the corporate plans to hang a trim role. NIO is additionally innovating with a battery swap program that lets in customers to “recharge” via a sooner battery exchange. The corporate says its automatic battery swap stations make a choice easiest three minutes for a fully charged battery replacement.

Will the stock follow? 

As with other names care for Tesla, the interrogate merchants fight with is the stock’s valuation. NIO’s full 2020 revenue thru the third quarter became as soon as nearly $1.5 billion, and total-Three hundred and sixty five days 2020 should quiet near $2.5 billion. 

However the corporate has but to create a profit, so having a observe at a label-to-sales ratio is a higher with regards to review valuation. With a recent market capitalization coming near $100 billion, NIO trades at nearly 40 times 2020 sales, and what’s estimated to be about 20 times 2021 sales. 

By that metric, it be valued higher than Tesla. Brooding about the competition and uncertainty having a observe forward, there’s extra plan back menace than upside doable upright now in NIO stock.

Investors are making a guess on the huge market doable for EV convey. If the total lot goes upright for NIO, shares may perchance possibly well well outperform from here. But as soon as you add it to a portfolio this day, you desires to be appealing for outsized losses, too. That’s the definition of a speculative funding. 

Howard Smith has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Tesla. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.”>

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