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Is NIO The Buy Of The Year?

By MarketBeat. Originally published at ValueWalk.

NIO

This might not be a question you were expecting to hear with regards to NIO (NYSE:NIO), whose shares are down almost 70% from last year’s all-time high, but it’s one worth asking. Because if one thing’s for sure, the Shanghai headquartered electric vehicle (EV) maker knows how to keep investors on their toes. Their shares rallied close to 3,000% in the months after the COVID pandemic started, with many analysts calling them the next Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA).

Q4 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

Comparisons like this are always going to be made with any up-and-coming EV company, but NIO stock’s seemingly unlimited resistance to gravity initially made it all the more pertinent. So too, it could be said, has the stock’s subsequent fall from the highs, and it will surely be nailed down once and for all if it can recover in the coming weeks. There’s plenty afoot with NIO that suggests its shares might be about to kick off a much-needed rally.

Mixed Earnings

Their Q4 earnings, released last night, gave investors and Wall Street a glimpse into the engine. Revenue for the quarter was ahead of analyst expectations and up 52% year on year, which helped to offset the slight miss on EPS. Delivery of vehicles for the fourth quarter of 2021 was up 44% compared to the same quarter the previous year, with total deliveries for 2021 up 109% compared to 2020. These are good numbers and suggest NIO’s revenue engine is building significant momentum. The timing is perfect too, with the effects of the Russian – Ukraine war on oil and gas prices causing many to think about switching permanently to an EV.

Initial indications in Friday’s pre-market session however suggested that there was some further room for shares to fall in the near term after the report. The earnings per share miss didn’t do them any favors, especially at a time when Chinese stocks are coming under intense scrutiny and investors aren’t as willing to overlook surprises to the downside. Management’s forward guidance for the first quarter of 2022 was also a little soft compared to the consensus. But for those of us on the sidelines, any further selling should be viewed as a potential buying opportunity.

It might require a tough stomach, but there are voices from the bull camp calling NIO shares a buy right now. Earlier this week, Morgan Stanley analyst Tim Hsiao reiterated his Buy rating, while trimming his price target from a stale $66 to $34. In doing so he acknowledged the “elevating macro headwinds and severe supply challenges” as near-term challenges, but feels confident that the company’s “superior liquidity and revenue visibility have it well-positioned to ride out any economic downturn.”

Massive Upside

His new price target suggests there’s as much upside as 50% to be had from where shares closed on Thursday which should be tempting to even the most bearish of us. In a note to clients, Hsiao pointed out that NIO has “deep enough pockets to finance its growth ambitions with the net cash position at the end of 2021 set to cover more aggressive investments this year. Management also now expects net profit to reach break-even in Q4 of 2023, which could also help alleviate the pressure on investment cash outflow.”

The team over at Citi also took a relaxed view after Thursday’s earnings miss, saying on Friday morning that they were impressed with the strong vehicle margins that NIO delivered in Q4 even as prices for raw materials soared. Investors on the hunt for a bargain could do worse than take a look at NIO now, especially in light of the current downtrend shares find themselves in. The near-term headwinds are not to be ignored, but if you’re going to get involved in an EV stock, or any new frontier stock for that matter, you have to be forward-looking and focused on the long-term potential.

Earlier this week, Deutsche Bank reiterated their Buy rating on NIO, noting that “the tide seems to be finally turning for the Chinese EV stock”. Their $50 price target would have shared more than double from their current levels, so if your time horizon is long enough you have to be asking  yourself if now’s the time to start backing up the truck.

NIO

Should you invest $1,000 in NIO right now?

Before you consider NIO, you’ll want to hear this.

MarketBeat keeps track of Wall Street’s top-rated and best performing research analysts and the stocks they recommend to their clients on a daily basis. MarketBeat has identified the five stocks that top analysts are quietly whispering to their clients to buy now before the broader market catches on… and NIO wasn’t on the list.

While NIO currently has a “Buy” rating among analysts, top-rated analysts believe these five stocks are better buys.

Article by Sam Quirke, MarketBeat

Updated on

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