By Claudia Assis
Execution remains 'key question,' Barclays says
Rivian Automotive Inc.'s recent "clear improvements" reinforce investor's confidence that the EV maker is on path to break even next year, presenting an opportunity for the stock.
That's from analysts at Barclays, led by Dan Levy, who said in a note Friday that they recently visited Rivian's (RIVN) plant in Normal, Ill.
"Our clear takeaway is that [Rivian] has moved past the many challenges/fire fights which deeply challenged operations in 2022," the Barclays analysts said.
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The EV maker now has the bandwidth to address its manufacturing process improvements and cost-cutting goals.
"There is much low hanging fruit, much runway, and clear improvements are being made ... we see improved confidence on the path to reaching gross margin breakeven in 2024," they said.
The analysts reaffirmed their rating on Rivian stock at the equivalent of buy, with a price target of $22. That represents upside of about 59% over Rivian share prices on Friday.
The automaker is not "out of the woods yet," however.
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"There is much work ahead, and execution is a key question. We believe demand is increasingly emerging as a question -- just as it is for other EV automakers. And we see significant capital needs ahead," the Barclays analysts said.
Yet with that improved confidence that Rivian is on track to break even, and the company's "great" products and the strength of Rivian's vertical integration, "we see clear opportunity ahead for the stock," they said.
Rivian shares have lost 20% so far this year, contrasting with gains of around 12% for the S&P 500 index.
The automaker last month reported a narrower-than-expected first-quarter loss and stuck with its production outlook for the year, in contrast with guidance cuts for two other EV startups.
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June 02, 2023 13:09 ET (17:09 GMT)
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