Nikola Gets Wedbush Upgrade As 'Negative Catalysts' Have Played Out

Nikola Corp NKLA has received an upgrade from Wedbush as most of the “negative catalysts” have played out. 

The Nikola Analyst: Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives changed his rating to Neutral on Nikola from the previous Underperform and upped the price target to $25 from the earlier $15.

The Nikola Thesis: Ives acknowledged that while some hurdles remain for the Phoenix, Arizona-based automaker, a scenario of a more “balanced risk/reward” on the name has emerged looking ahead.

“We still believe the company's EV and hydrogen fuel cell ambitions are attainable in the semi-truck market,” Ives wrote in a note.

Ives pointed to the completion of Nikola’s prototype trucks in Germany and the build of the Arizona flagship factory as positives and said Wedbush believes that a “strategic hydrogen partnerships could be on the near-term horizon both in the US and across Europe.”

The analyst said there are still “lingering concerns” on the execution and timing of the company’s ambitious goals and whether they are on track over the coming year.

Ives called ousted CEO Trevor Milton the “visionary, architect and internal/external force driving Nikola for the coming years.”

The departure of Milton leaves a void but CEO Mark Russell and CFO Kim Brady have done an “impressive job” in getting the automaker’s story back on track.

The Wedbush analyst said Nikola’s investments in hydrogen-powered battery and its benefits in comparison with traditional electric motors used in EVs today is “a key part of driving the value proposition in the eyes of investors on this story stock.”

He called Nikola a “prove me” story. Other positives related to the company include President Joe Biden’s push for green initiatives along with a Blue Senate, which he had also cited as plus points for rival Tesla Inc TSLA

Price Action: Nikola shares closed nearly 0.4% lower at $23.09 on Friday and gained 0.91% in the after-hours session to $23.30.

Related Link: Tesla Gets $1,250 Bull Case Target From Wedbush As EV Market Remains Its World Where Others 'Paying Rent'

Photo courtesy: Nikola Corp.

Posted In: Dan Iveselectric vehiclesEVsTrevor MiltonWedbush SecuritiesAnalyst ColorUpgradesPrice TargetAnalyst RatingsTech