XPeng narrows loss but joins Nio in suffering from Tesla share slump

XPeng narrowed its fourth quarter loss and projected future sales growth; but like fellow Chinese EV Nio it is suffering from the recent slump in Tesla’s stock price

XPeng narrows loss but joins Nio in suffering from Tesla share slump
XPeng is boosting sales and getting closer to a profit, but a slump in Tesla shares is hitting its stock price, along with Nio's. File picture: Reuters

(ATF) Chinese electric vehicle (EV) firm XPeng said on Monday March 8 that its net loss in the fourth quarter of last year narrowed 42% from the same period in 2019. XPeng’s stock dipped, as it joined rival Nio in suffering from the recent slump in value of Tesla shares, which are now 30% below a recent January high.

XPeng - like Nio - is listed on the Nasdaq exchange and its US shares closed down 4% on Monday despite relatively positive earnings and sales projections, as the Nasdaq itself completed a 10% fall from its February high to record a technical market correction.

The Tesla-effect remains strong for shares in both XPeng and Nio - in a negative way at the moment. After peaking at an all-time high of $833 in late January, Tesla shares have fallen 30% to erase over $275 billion of market capitalisation, as the stock suffers from the tech sector selling that has accompanied a rise in Treasury yields, compounded by confusion over the long-term impact of its decision to put $1.5 billion in bitcoin.

XPeng said its net loss was 787.4 million yuan ($120.7 million) for the fourth quarter of 2020, compared with 1,354.6 million yuan a year earlier.

Revenue in the quarter jumped 346% year-on-year to 2.85 billion yuan ($419 million). It expects total revenue for the first quarter of 2021 to be approximately 2.6 billion yuan ($382 million) up around 531% from the first quarter of 2020. Deliveries of vehicles in the first quarter are expected to be around 12,500 vehicles, representing a year-over-year increase of 450%.

Full year 2020 revenues were 5.84 billion yuan ($895.7 million) and total annual deliveries were 27,041 vehicles.

“We closed 2020 on a strong note, with a record number of total deliveries in the fourth quarter of 12,964 vehicles, led by the P7, our second smart EV model, which fuelled our robust operational and financial performance throughout the year,” Xpeng chairman and CEO He Xiaopeng said.

“We spearhead innovation in China’s smart EV market by pursuing end-to-end R&D and closed-loop of data capabilities. We proudly offer our customers a revolutionary in-car voice system and smart cockpit technology, as well as XPILOT 3.0, our self-developed full-stack autonomous driving system, and we are poised to launch our LIDAR-equipped third smart EV model in the second half of 2021.

“We remain committed to our mission to drive smart EV transformation with technology and data, shaping the mobility experience of future. As part of our long-term strategy, we are pursuing a suite of cutting-edge smart EV technologies and products, including the next-generation autonomous driving system and powertrain platform that will be applied to our future smart models,” He added.

“XPeng’s solid results in the fourth quarter and throughout fiscal 2020 exemplify our ability to successfully meet fast-growing market demand for a smart mobility experience,” XPeng president Brian Gu said. “Driven by strong growth of vehicle deliveries, our revenue increased 345.5% in the fourth quarter and 151.8% for the full year, both on a year-over-year basis.”

Gu added: ”Our profitability continued to improve, thanks to rapid sales growth following the beginning of mass deliveries of P7. Specifically, our gross margin improved sequentially in the fourth quarter, and for the first time, we achieved positive full-year gross margin, marking a significant milestone in our company history, reflecting the power of our business model. Moreover, our strong cash position provides us with a solid financial foundation, which we believe will support execution of our growth strategies, strengthen our competitive edge and enable us to capture immense market opportunities for future growth.”

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