Could Nikola outcompete the legacy automakers in the EV space?

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on Dec 23, 2021
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  • Nikola Corporation delivered its first electric truck to a customer.
  • Lebenthal picks legacy automakers over Nikola to play the EV space.
  • Shares of the U.S. company are up more than 20% on Thursday.

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Shares of Nikola Corporation (NASDAQ: NKLA) are up more than 20% on Thursday after the U.S. company that manufactures electric trucks delivered its first vehicle to the customer.

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Jim Lebenthal is not impressed

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Nikola also said this customer intends to buy another 100 of its EV trucks, but the news wasn’t enough to impress Cerity Partners’ Jim Lebenthal. On CNBC’s “Halftime Report”, he still picked legacy automakers like GM and Ford as better ways of playing the EV space than Nikola.

Nikola says, our first customer delivery; okay, for GM and Ford, that happened 120 years ago. That’s a lot of head start. I can’t look at Nikola and say that in the long run, it’s going to outcompete the scale, the marketing, the cost advantages of GM, Ford, Tesla, Volkswagen.

According to Wedbush Securities, spending on commercial electric vehicles will stand above $1.2 trillion by the end of this decade. Earlier this week, however, Guggenheim raised caution for EV bulls as it started Tesla and Lucid with a “neutral” rating.

Jon Najarian bought Nikola calls

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On the flip side, however, Jon Najarian is bullish on Nikola for the near term. During the same interview, he revealed to have bought Nikola calls on Thursday and said:

The fact that they’ve finally started deliveries and that they’ve proved that they can do that and get another order is a very positive thing for this company.

Including today’s price action, Nikola is still down more than 60% from its year-to-date high. The news comes only days after Nikola agreed to pay $125 million to settle allegations it defrauded investors.

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