2 companies in 2 minutes: $NKLA and $WKHS
Workhorse Group Inc.
two of the lesser known zero-emission vehicle companies, with $TSLA hogging the EV spotlight — and of the two, Nikola Corporation has been at the forefront of controversy with active investigations into securities fraud allegations while Workhorse Group aims to modernize the Federal mail fleet with electric motors.
As the other company named after American inventor Nikola Tesla, Nikola Corporation is a company based out of Phoenix, Arizona that has presented a number of zero-emission vehicle concepts since 2016, and has plans on producing some of its beautifully designed, futurist, concept vehicles in the future.
Fast forwarding to 2020, back in September, a short seller firm known as Hindenburg Research released a report accusing Nikola of fraud perpetrated largely by founder and (then) CEO Trevor Milton. The Financial Times later confirmed the report’s claim regarding a showcased Nikola One in motion without a motor, and instead by force of gravity. The stock fell by 10% intraday while $GM, who had made an agreement days earlier, fell around 4%. By September 12, Nikola stock had fallen by 36%. Nikola rejected the claims as false, misleading, and threatened legal action against Hindenburg Research.
Trevor Milton has also been known to make wild accusations, stating short sellers are fans of rival company Tesla — much like founder and billionaire Elon Musk.
In response to the Hindenburg report, Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors, said $GM conducted appropriate diligence before its deal with Nikola Corporation. As of September, the Securities and Exchange Commission has opened an investigation into the fraud allegations, with the Department of Justice following suit by opening an investigation into Nikola as well.
Following the controversy, $BP backed away from a potential partnership to develop hydrogen refueling stations for Nikola’s EV Trucks — and after the announcement, $NKLA stock price fell by more than 25% in a single trading session. The partnership was a critical component in Nikola’s business plan for its electric vehicle trucks powered by hydrogen fuel cells.
Nikola was poised to announce the partnership in the following days after the $GM partnership.
Checking in with the latest $NKLA development, the lockup period for company insiders and early investors has expired, freeing up to 166 million shares for sale for the first time since the company went public.
At quick glimpse, Workhorse Group was founded in 1998 by investors who took over the production of General Motors’ P30 and P32 series van and motorhome chassis, and in March 2015, AMP Electric Vehicles took over Workhorse Custom Chassis and changed the company name to Workhorse Group Incorporated, and began offering a range of electric vehicles.
As for the Federal mail vehicle modernization, the U.S. Postal Service is going to take longer to decide what firm will supply vehicles to replace its delivery trucks. Workhorse is the only contract bidder offering an all-electric option.
But that PE ratio though. At one point, $NKLA had a 1315+ PE ratio! $WKHS inked a slight dip in their PE ratio as they recorded less losses Q2 2020, bringing the stock to new highs.
Both companies have grown their market capitalization — $NKLA at the helm of volatility as a result of shedding excess speculation, while $WKHS has had a much more steady inclination of market capitalization growth. $WKHS began trading in April of 2010, and $NKLA in June of 2018.