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Rivian Maintains Production Estimates. Here's Why That's a Big Deal

After much of the hype died down from Rivian Automotive's (NASDAQ: RIVN) initial public offering last November, its stock plummeted from levels that had valued it at more than both Ford and General Motors at the time. Investors soon realized the realities involved in starting an electric vehicle company from scratch. Earlier this year, Rivian told investors that it would be limited to producing 25,000 vehicles for the full year even though it already had equipment and processes in place at its Illinois factory to support the production of 50,000. Other EV start-ups were lowering projections as well due to supply chain disruptions. Many wondered whether the company would slash projections again in its second-quarter report, but what it said boosted investor confidence instead. Important progress A lot of factors have made investors wary of early-stage EV manufacturers recently. The macroeconomic environment presents many obstacles, including rising raw material costs, supply chain disruptions, and consumers reining in spending. Companies like Rivian that are just starting to ramp up production and build a customer base are particularly affected. Fellow EV start-up Lucid Group cut its already-reduced production estimate for the year in half in its recent second-quarter release. That had investors concerned that Rivian would have similar material supply problems that would cause it to lower production guidance. But it reaffirmed its production target of 25,000 in its second-quarter report. Investors have pushed Rivian shares up more than 20% in just the past month, so any change would likely have hit the shares hard. Perhaps the best news to be gleaned from Rivian's comments is what its production guidance means for the future. For the company to hit its guidance, it will need to double the number of vehicles produced in the second quarter over each of the next two quarterly periods. That means it has the materials and equipment it needs to continue to ramp up, which is a big deal. More work ahead The increase in vehicle production comes as preorders for Rivian's consumer vehicles also continue to grow. The company now has nearly 100,000 preorders for its R1T and R1S pickup truck and SUV models. Those preorders are cancelable and refundable, but they have continued to grow over the last year. The preorders of its consumer trucks are in addition to an existing 100,000-vehicle order from Amazon for Rivian's electric delivery vehicles. The deliveries for that order have also started and should continue over the next several years. But those rising preorders have also put the company in a bit of a financial bind. Earlier this year, Rivian tried to raise prices on its vehicles to compensate for rising raw material costs. But owners of the approximately 80,000 preorders already placed threatened to cancel their orders if they didn't get the original pricing. Rivian then implemented the price increase only with new preorders, starting in the second quarter. That will force Rivian to absorb those rising costs, and that showed in the latest report. Risks remain For investors, that means that there is still plenty of risk with an investment in Rivian. Now that the company has incurred net losses of $3.3 billion since the start of 2022, Rivian's cash position has dropped to $15.4 billion. That's down from about $17 billion at the end of the first quarter. The company did generate meaningful revenue of $364 million in the second quarter, however. CFO Claire McDonough told investors in the company's conference call, "We've seen unprecedented levels of inflation, especially across our raw material inputs and lithium prices." She added that the company had experienced increased costs due to expedited shipments but that it plans to move more product by rail. Rivian is working to address those challenges by cutting 2022 capital expenditures by $600 million to $2 billion, and it prepared investors to expect a lowered adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) of negative $5.45 billion for the year. For long-term investors, however, the production news was the key to the report. If the company can navigate current challenges and continue to increase production at a meaningful rate beyond this year, financial concerns should ease. 10 stocks we like better than Rivian Automotive, Inc. When our award-winning analyst team has a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the newsletter they have run for over a decade, Motley Fool Stock Advisor, has tripled the market.* They just revealed what they believe are the ten best stocks for investors to buy right now... and Rivian Automotive, Inc. wasn't one of them! That's right -- they think these 10 stocks are even better buys. *Stock Advisor returns as of August 11, 2022 Howard Smith has positions in Lucid Group, Inc. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc. Founded in 1993 in Alexandria, VA., by brothers David and Tom Gardner, The Motley Fool is a multimedia financial-services company dedicated to building the world's greatest investment community. Reaching millions of people each month through its website, books, newspaper column, radio show, television appearances, and subscription newsletter services, The Motley Fool champions shareholder values and advocates tirelessly for the individual investor. The company's name was taken from Shakespeare, whose wise fools both instructed and amused, and could speak the truth to the king -- without getting their heads lopped off. Today’s Big Picture Asia-Pacific equity indexes ended today’s session down across the board. India’s Sensex ended the day essentially flat, down 0.06%, China’s Shanghai Composite and Australia’s ASX All Ordinaries declined 0.54% and 0.55%, respectively while Japan’s Nikkei fell 0.65%, Taiwan’s TAIEX dropped 0.74% and South Korea’s KOSPI declined 0.90%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng led the way, down 1.96% on a broad selloff led by Health Technology and Health Services names while Transportation and Communications sectors provided the only relief. By mid-day trading, major European equity indices are down across the board and U.S. futures point to a positive open later this morning. At 8:30 AM ET, the much anticipated July Consumer Price Index (CPI) report was released: The headline figure for the month was expected to fall to 8.7% from June’s blistering 9.1% reading with core CPI that excludes food and energy ticking higher to 6.1% in July vs. 6.0% the prior month. The actual numbers show that inflation hit 8.5%, and core inflation was 5.9%. With the national average retail price for a gallon of gas falling through late June and July from its June 14 high of $5.016 per gallon per data from AAA, forecasters had expected the month over month decline in the headline CPI for July. The July Employment Report also showed wage inflation ran hotter than expected during the month. Let’s also keep in mind that we will be facing a “wash, rinse, repeat” cycle when it comes to inflation data and expectations for the Fed given tomorrow’s July Producer Price Index report. Data Download International Economy Producer prices in Japan rose by 8.6% YoY in July, compared with market forecasts of 8.4% and following an upwardly revised 9.4% the prior month. While marking the 17th straight month of producer inflation, the latest reading was the softest since last December. China's annual inflation rate rose to 2.7% in July from 2.5% in June and compared with market forecasts of 2.9% but even so the July figure marked the highest reading in the last year. The country’s Producer Price Inflation figure for July eased to a 17-month low of 4.2% YoY from 6.1% the prior month and less than the market consensus of 4.8%. Annual inflation rate in Germany was confirmed at 7.5% YoY for the month of July, down slightly from June’s 7.6% reading but still above the March and April figures of 7.3%-7.4%. The annual inflation rate in Italy slowed to 7.9% YoY in July from June’s 8% reading matching expectations for the month. While energy prices declined, prices for food and transportation rose at a faster pace. Domestic Economy This morning we have the usual Wednesday weekly reports for MBA Mortgage Applications and Crude Oil Inventories from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. At 10 AM ET, Wholesale Inventories for June will be published, and the figure is expected to rise 1.9%. While investors and economists will keep more than a passing interest in those reports and data, as we discussed above, it will be the July Consumer Price Index report at 8:30 AM ET that will shape not only how the US stock market opens today, but also expectations for the Fed’s next course of monetary policy action. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects domestic production of crude oil, natural gas and coal will all increase next year compared with this year. It forecast US crude production rising 6.7% to an all-time annual high 12.7M bbl/day in 2023 from 11.9M bbl/day in 2022, US natural gas output climbing to 100B cubic feet (cf)/day from 97B cf/day, and US coal production inching up to 601M short tons in 2023 from an expected 599M this year. The EIA also modestly increased its 2022 average nationwide gasoline price forecast to $4.07/GALLON vs. $4.05 if called for last month. It now also sees 2023 prices at $3.59/GAL vs. its previous forecast of $3.57. Markets Stocks continued in their holding pattern waiting for the latest CPI print save for some fundamental stories pushing Technology names and small caps around. The Dow and the S&P 500 were down slightly at 0.18% and 0.42%, respectively while the Nasdaq Composite dropped 1.19% and the Russell 2000 closed down 1.46% on the day. Energy names led the way yesterday but were overpowered by Technology and Consumer Discretionary sectors. Here’s how the major market indicators stack up year-to-date: Dow Jones Industrial Average: -9.81% S&P 500: -13.51% Nasdaq Composite: -20.14% Russell 2000: -15.83% Bitcoin (BTC-USD): -52.08% Ether (ETH-USD): -55.38% Stocks to Watch Before trading kicks off, CyberArk (CYBR), Fox Corp. (FOXA), Jack in the Box (JACK), Nomad Foods (NOMD), Vita Coco (COCO), Tufin Software (TUFN), and Wendy’s (WEN) will be among the companies issuing their latest quarterly results and guidance. At 9 AM ET, Samsung (SSNLF) will hold its Galaxy Unpacked 2022 at which it is expected to introduce new Galaxy foldable smartphone models, a new Galaxy Watch, and Galaxy Buds. Shares of advertising technology platform company The Trade Desk (TTD) jumped after the company reported quarterly results that topped expectations and guided current quarter revenue above the consensus forecast. The RealReal (REAL) reported a smaller than expected bottom line loss for its June quarter as revenue for the period rose 47.2% YoY to %154.44 million, topping the $153.99 million consensus. However, the company issued downside guidance for both the current quarter and 2022. Revenue for the September quarter is now expected to be $145-$155 million vs. the $164.3 million consensus; for the full year of 2022, revenue is forecasted to be $615-$635 million vs. the $653.7 million consensus. Shares of Coinbase Global (COIN) moved lower after it reported June quarter results that missed top and bottom line expectations. Revenue for the quarter fell 63.7% YoY as Total trading volume fell 53.0% YoY and 29.8% sequentially to $217 billion. Monthly Transacting Users (MTUs) grew 2.3% YoY but fell 2.2% sequentially to 9.0 million. For the current quarter, Coinbase sees the number of MTUs trending lower sequentially and total trading volume to be lower compared to the June quarter. Shares of Sweetgreen (SG) tumbled in aftermarket trading last night after the company missed quarterly revenue expectations, lowered its 2022 forecast, announced it will lay off 5% of its workforce, and downsize to smaller offices. ChipMOS TECHNOLOGIES (IMOS) reported its July revenue was $65.1 million, a decrease of 19.4% YoY and down 7.7% MoM. Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM) reported its July revenue increased 49.9% YoY to NT$186.76 billion, which equates to a 6.2% MoM improvement. Electric vehicle subscription startup Autonomy placed a $1.2 billion order for 23K electric vehicles with 17 global automakers, including BMW (BMWYY), Canoo (GOEV), Fisker (FSR), Ford (F), General Motors (GM), Hyundai (HYMTF), Lucid Group (LCID), Mercedes-Benz (DDAIF), Polestar (PSNY), Rivian (RIVN), Stellantis (STLA), Subaru (FUJHY), Tesla (TSLA), Toyota Motor (TM), VinFast, Volvo Car (VLVOF) and Volkswagen (VLKAF). IPOs As of now, no IPOs are slated to be priced this week. Readers looking to dig more into the upcoming IPO calendar should visit Nasdaq’s Latest & Upcoming IPOs page. After Today’s Market Close Bumble (BMBL), CACI International (CACI), Coherent (COHR), Dutch Bros. (BROS), Red Robin Gourmet (RRGB), and Walt Disney (DIS) are expected to report their quarterly results after equities stop trading today. Those looking for more on which companies are reporting when, head on over to Nasdaq’s Earnings Calendar. On the Horizon Thursday, August 11 Germany: Thomson Reuters Ipsos Monthly Global Primary Consumer Sentiment Index - August US: Weekly Initial & Continuing Jobless Claims US: Producer Price Index – July US: Weekly EIA Natural Gas Inventories Friday, August 12 Japan: Thomson Reuters Ipsos Monthly Global Primary Consumer Sentiment Index - August China: China Thomson Reuters Ipsos Monthly Global Primary Consumer Sentiment Index - August Eurozone: Industrial Production - June US: Import/Export Prices – July US: University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index (Preliminary) – August Thought for the Day “The release date is just one day, but the record is forever.” ~ Bruce Springsteen Disclosures Tufin Software (TUFN), CyberArk (CYBR) are constituents of the Foxberry Tematica Research Cybersecurity & Data Privacy Index Canoo (GOEV), Fisker (FSR), Lucid Group (LCID), Rivian (RIVN), Tesla (TSLA), Vita Coco (COCO) are constituents of the Tematica BITA Cleaner Living Index Canoo (GOEV), Fisker (FSR), Lucid Group (LCID), Rivian (RIVN), Tesla (TSLA), Vita Coco (COCO) are constituents of the Tematica BITA Cleaner Living Sustainability Screened Index The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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