Nikola’s revenue misses estimates on slowing truck demand

(Reuters) -Nikola missed Wall Street expectations for first-quarter revenue on Tuesday, as the electric truck maker delivered fewer hydrogen fuel cell trucks amid an uncertain macroeconomic outlook and reduced spending by customers.

The company reported revenue of $7.5 million, missing expectations of $15.8 million, according to LSEG data. Its shares fell 4.5% in afternoon trading.

It delivered 75 of its hydrogen fuel cell trucks in the first two quarters of production and completed the delivery of its reworked battery truck at the end of the first quarter.

The company, however, delayed its delivery timeline for its reworked battery trucks to 2024 end from its earlier plan to complete it by the end of the second quarter or early third quarter.

It expects to deliver between 50 and 60 fuel cell hydrogen trucks in the second quarter, executives from the company said in a post-earnings conference call.

Nikola is finding it tough to sell its hydrogen big rigs as consumers and businesses curb spending on relatively pricer electric vehicles amid high borrowing costs and turn to cheaper hybrid alternatives.

Revenue from the company’s trucks fell 26% to $7.4 million, despite ramping up production for its hydrogen big rigs.

Its net loss stood at $147.7 million, smaller than $169.1 million a year ago, helped by a 15% reduction in operating expenses.

Nikola’s cash and cash equivalents at the end of the first quarter stood at $345.6 million, down from $464.7 million, in the prior three months.

The company said it opened refueling stations in California and Canada’s Alberta for its hydrogen trucks in March.

(Reporting by Zaheer Kachwala in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Pooja Desai)