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Lordstown To Report For First Time Amid Short-Seller Battle

Lordstown Motors (RIDE) issues its first earnings report as a publicly traded company late Wednesday after a short seller accused the electric truck startup, backed by General Motors (GM), of misleading investors with fake orders. RIDE stock fell.




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Lordstown Earnings Report

No reliable Q4 estimates are available for the prerevenue company. Founded in April 2019, Lordstown makes pickup electric trucks for commercial fleet operators. Its Endurance full-size pickup is due in September.

Lordstown targets a $65 billion fleet pickup market and says the Endurance offers 25% lower cost of ownership vs. a traditional gas or diesel truck. In investor presentations, Lordstown touted 100,000 preorders for the Endurance electric truck, with 580 units per order on average.

But on March 12, Hindenburg Research accused Lordstown of “largely fictitious” orders. The short seller had earlier targeted Nikola (NKLA) and China’s Kandi (KNDI).

Lordstown CEO Steve Burns told the Wall Street Journal last week that the short-seller report held half-truths and lies. The company has said it will offer a fuller rebuttal later. Lordstown also said that it had made clear that its orders were nonbinding.


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RIDE Stock

Shares fell 3% to 14.77 in Thursday’s stock market trading. RIDE stock remains below the 50-day line and 200-day line after the short-seller report. GM, which has a 5% stake in the company, was up 1.3%. And Workhorse Group (WKHS), which had a 10% stake, fell 2%.

Lordstown enters a competitive market, with GM, Tesla (TSLA), Ford (F), Amazon (AMZN)-backed Rivian and Canoo (GOEV) also launching electric pickups in the next one to three years.

But the company said in a January presentation that it will be “first to market” with its truck and calls its September delivery target “materially ahead of peers’ (more expensive) offering.”

According to CEO Burns, “The unique thing about this vehicle — it’s electric but it also has true four-wheel drive. The motors are in the wheels.”

RIDE stock came public in October after completing its merger with a special purpose acquisition company.

After its founding, Lordstown bought an old GM plant in Lordstown, Ohio, in November 2019. GM also supplies key parts for the Endurance EV, which Lordstown says saves design time and costs to certify.

Find Aparna Narayanan on Twitter at @IBD_Aparna.

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