Following Milton indictment, Nikola reports earnings beat with production updates

Nikola Motors' new headquarters in Phoenix, AZ. (Credit: Trevor Milton/Nikola Motor/Twitter)

Following the indictment of former CEO and company founder Trevor Milton, Nikola Motor Corp. (NASDAQ: NKLA) reported an earnings beat during its Q2 Earnings Call this morning. The company also gave several updates regarding the production of its Nikola Tre EV and Hydrogen Fuel Cell vehicles.

Last week, former company CEO Trevor Milton was indicted on three counts of fraud that were allegedly committed during his stint as Nikola’s frontman. While Milton is currently free on bail and will await trial in Manhattan, New York, Nikola moves on without its founder, aiming to bring production-ready vehicles to the market after several years of shortcomings and not-so-honest updates.

Trevor Milton’s legal team releases statement after Nikola founder indicted for fraud

Nikola reported a loss in Earnings Per Share at -20 cents. Wall Street estimated a loss of 30 cents per share. Additionally, the company reported an EBITDA loss of $73.9 million, whereas consensus estimates slated the company at a projected loss of $116.9 million.

“We have had continued success in commissioning and validating the Nikola Tre BEVs, completed both our Ulm, Germany and Phase 0.5 of our Coolidge, Arizona manufacturing facilities, entered into a purchase agreement with Tumim Stone Capital LLC for up to $300 million of Nikola common stock, and acquired a 20% stake in the Wabash Valley Resources clean hydrogen project in West Terra Haute, Indiana,” the company said. 

Nikola stated it has already completed the production of nine Nikola Tre BEVs, which were a part of the second batch of production units. The first batch of five Nikola Tres are undergoing validation activities, according to the company. Three trucks from the second batch are commissioned and are in various stages of validation. The remaining six are undergoing commissioning at the Coolidge, Arizona facility. On June 14th, Nikola started a trial production run of Nikola Tre builds in Ulm, Germany.

Nikola stock was down 7.16% at the time of writing, as the company’s outlook seems to be undetermined moving forward. Following the departure of Milton last year, Nikola has been aiming to move forward with new production goals. During the Earnings Call, the company said it now expects to deliver between 25 and 50 all-electric trucks by the end of 2021. This is half of what expectations were previously, but supply chain constraints and the ongoing validation of the Tre make timelines uncertain.

Following an unfavorable report from Hindenburg Research regarding Nikola’s vehicle production, the company admitted that Milton fabricated some of the claims. Depending on how Nikola is able to navigate the twelve months, the company could recover and become a leader in EV trucking, but it will have to go through several competitors, including the Tesla Semi, to get there.

Disclosure: Joey Klender is not a NKLA Shareholder.

Joey Klender: Transportation Writer | Penn State Alum | Future World Series of Poker Bracelet Holder 🚀 🛰 ☀️ 🚘 🧠 🕳
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