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Nikola’s loss widens following a costly recall of its battery-electric semi trucks

Electric truck maker Nikola said Thursday that it has received nearly 300 orders for its new hydrogen fuel cell semitruck — but it’s facing what will be a costly recall of its earlier battery-electric trucks.

Nikola recalled all of its Tre battery-electric trucks, 209 in total, in August following a fire caused by a coolant leak in a truck’s battery pack. It said on Thursday that after an investigation into the causes, it has decided to replace the battery packs on all 209 trucks at an estimated cost of $61.8 million.

It expects to resume delivering battery-electric trucks to customers in the first quarter next year. Despite the recall, a dealer ordered 47 battery-electric trucks during the third quarter, Nikola said.

Nikola said it currently has 277 “non-binding” orders for its new fuel-cell truck from 35 different fleet customers. It shipped a total of three trucks during the third quarter, versus 63 in the year-ago quarter.

Here are the key numbers from Nikola’s third-quarter earnings report.

Adjusted loss per share: 30 cents vs. 14 cents expected by Wall Street analysts polled by LSEG, formerly known as Refinitiv
Revenue: Negative $1.7 million vs. Wall Street’s estimate of $13.3 million, according to LSEG

Nikola’s net loss was $425.8 million, or 50 cents per share. On an adjusted basis, excluding stock-based compensation, it lost 30 cents per share. A year ago, Nikola lost $236.2 million, or 54 cents per share.

Nikola reported negative revenue of $1.7 million in the third quarter, after it paid out about $2.4 million to buy back seven trucks from former dealers as new CEO Steve Girsky refocused the company’s sales efforts on California. Its revenue was $24.2 million in the third quarter of 2022.

Nikola raised $250 million during the third quarter. As of Sept. 30, it had $362.9 million in cash, up from $226.7 million as of June 30 and just $121.1 million as of March 31.

 

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