Lucid Group: Reported Manufacturing Halt Could Point To Another Cut In 2022 Production Forecasts

Production issues continue to dog Lucid Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: LCID), and a late May-early June production pause at the company’s Casa Grande, Arizona manufacturing plant calls into further question the number of vehicles it will be able to produce this year. Lucid demonstrating the ability to manufacture vehicles at scale on a consistent basis is now probably the single most important metric to most Lucid investors.

Lucid shut down its manufacturing line from May 29 through June 4 to reconfigure the equipment for the production of the upcoming Lucid Air Pure vehicle. Full production of this model, which has a base price of US$87,400, could commence in 4Q 2022.

Lucid’s manufacturing facility in Casa Grande, Arizona

This development, taken together with the late May news that Lucid replaced its manufacturing chief, could portend a further cut in full-year 2022 vehicle production guidance. In late February, Lucid reset its 2022 goal to 12,000 to 14,000 Lucid Air electric cars from the 20,000 unit goal it had articulated as recently as mid-November 2021.

In order to produce 12,000 to 14,000 vehicles in 2022, equivalent to 1,000+ per month, Lucid would have to increase the pace of manufacturing dramatically. The company delivered just 360 cars to customers in 1Q 2022 and 125 in 4Q 2021.

(in thousands of US $, except for shares outstanding)March 31, 2022December 31, 2021September 30, 2021
Lucid Air Vehicles Delivered3601250
Revenue$57,675 $26,392 $232 
Operating Income($597,530)($485,684)($497,050)
Operating Cash Flow($494,639)($312,733)  (A)
Capital Expenditures($185,082)
Adjusted EBITDA ($383,781)($299,583)($244,962)
Cash – Period End$5,391,844 $6,262,905 $4,796,880 
Debt – Period End$1,998,571 $1,997,057 $7,955 
Shares Outstanding (Millions)1,668 1,648 1,642 
(A) Operating cash flow was negative US$745.4 million in the nine months ended September 30, 2021.

Lucid stock has bounced sharply over the last week and a half as worldwide equity markets have staged a reflex rally. The electric vehicle maker has gained nearly 24% since June 16, about 2 ½ times the NASDAQ’s 9% rally over the same period.

Some of this gain seems likely to be attributable to the annual reconstitution of the Russell 1000 and 2000 equity indices. A significant amount of passive institutional funds are invested in the Russell 1000 Index of larger companies and the Russell 2000 Index of smaller companies. 

Lucid will be added to the larger company index before the market opens on June 27, and indexers were required to buy sufficient shares in Lucid to mimic the future composition of the Russell 1000 over the last weeks. This index-linked buying concluded on June 24.

Given the uncertainties it faces, amplified by the stock market’s recently adopted unwillingness to confer high valuations on money-losing companies, Lucid looks quite expensive. Based on consensus 2023 estimated revenue, Lucid trades at an enterprise value-to-estimated 2023 revenue multiple of around 8.3 times. By comparison, another leading electric vehicle OEM start-up, Rivian Automotive, Inc. (NASDAQ: RIVN), trades at a ratio of just 1.7x.  

Lucid Group, Inc. last traded at US$19.21 on the NASDAQ.

Information for this briefing was found via Edgar and the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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