Li Auto Stock Jumps on Earnings. Growth Is Good for EV Makers, Including Tesla.
stock jumped in early trading Monday after reporting fourth-quarter financial results. The numbers were in line with estimates, but guidance for the first quarter was enough to alleviate investors’ fears about slowing electric vehicle demand in China.
(ticker: LI) reported adjusted earnings per share of 0.93 yuan (13 cents) on revenue of $2.56 billion in the fourth quarter. Analysts were expecting earnings of 7 cents a share on revenue of $2.6 billion, according to FactSet data.
Sales rose 66% year over year for the fourth quarter as deliveries grew to 46,319 units, up from 26,154 units delivered in the fourth quarter of 2021.
Looking ahead, Li Auto expects to deliver between 52,000 and 55,000 cars in the first quarter of 2023, an increase of 64% to 73.4% from the first quarter of 2022.
Li delivered 15,141 vehicles in January, leaving about 37,000 to 39,000 vehicles to be delivered in February and March to hit management’s guidance. That works out to about 19,000 vehicles a month. Li’s best month for deliveries ever was December 2021 when the company shipped 21,233 units.
The bounce back from January, which included China’s Lunar New Year holiday, is an encouraging sign for Li as well as other EV sellers in China, including
(1211. Hong Kong),
(NIO), and even
“We successfully executed our growth strategy in 2022, cementing our leadership in the family SUV segment,” said CEO Xiang Li in a news release. “The strong popularity of our vehicles reflects our relentless pursuit of product excellence and the outstanding experience we offer to our family users.”
Li’s guidance also calls for sales of between $2.53 billion and $2.68 billion—an increase of between 82.5% and 93% on the same period the previous year. Analysts see first-quarter revenue of $2.56 billion.
The U.S.-listed shares rose about 4% ahead of the open, while the Hong Kong-traded stock closed 2% higher.
futures were both up about 0.5%.
Coming into Monday trading, Li shares were up about 14% so far this year. Shares are still down about 17% over the past 12 months as higher interest rates and Covid-related supply-chain problems have caused some investor concern.
Write to Callum Keown at [email protected]
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