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Nikola shares are down after messy second quarter, CEO departure and news of a stock sale

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Nikola TRE FCEV2
Courtesy: Nikola

Electric truck maker Nikola said on Friday that its CEO, Michael Lohscheller, will step down effective immediately due to a “family health matter.” Nikola’s current board chair, former General Motors vice chairman Steve Girsky, will take over as CEO.

Lohscheller will remain in an advisory capacity until the end of September to support the transition, Nikola said.

The news came alongside Nikola’s second-quarter earnings report. Here are the key numbers, compared with Refinitiv consensus estimates:

  • Loss per share: 20 cents vs. 22 cents
  • Revenue: $15.36 million vs. $15.4 million

Nikola’s net loss for the quarter was $217.8 million, or 31 cents per share. That figure includes $77.8 million, or 11 cents per share, related to discontinued operations including the closure of the former Romeo Power battery-pack factory in California. Nikola acquired Romeo Power last year.

A year ago, Nikola lost $173 million, or 41 cents per share. Aside from the discontinued operations, Nikola had no adjustments in the second quarter of 2023; on an adjusted basis, it lost 25 cents per share in the year-ago quarter.

Revenue fell to $15.4 million from $18.1 million in the second quarter of 2022.

Shares of Nikola were down about 5% in premarket trading Friday.

The company raised $233.2 million in cash during the second quarter via sales of stock and some physical assets, and took steps to reduce its cash consumption going forward. It had $226.7 million in cash on hand as of June 30, up from $121.1 million as of March 31. The company on Aug. 3 won approval from shareholders to issue new stock, and is expected to raise additional cash later in the year.

It delivered 45 of its battery-electric semitrucks to dealers during the second quarter. Its dealers sold 66 of the battery-electric trucks to end customers during the period, the company’s best quarterly retail result yet.

Nikola said in May that it would temporarily suspend production of its battery-electric truck while it reconfigured the line to build both the battery-electric and fuel-cell trucks.

Production of Nikola’s latest model, a longer-range fuel-cell powered version of its Tre semitruck, began July 31; deliveries are expected to begin in September.

Nikola currently has orders for a total of 202 fuel-cell trucks for 18 fleet customers, it said earlier this week.

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