Following a correction, are shares of EV upstart Workhorse Group (NASDAQ:WKHS) a buy? Let’s look at what’s going on in the market, as well as both off and on the price chart of WKHS stock, before deciding on a stronger risk-adjusted determination for today’s investors.
After defying a broad-based September sell-off led by the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite, a bit of bearish seasonality has finally gotten the better of WKHS. Impressively, shares had been up as much as 58% in September. The stock also managed to finish the month up nearly 40%. But October has proven a bumpier ride.
Workhorse shares are off 12% since Oct. 1 and 27% beneath their late September highs. This past week, WKHS further stressed the stock market is made up of individual companies whose shares are always at risk of further decorrelation. Into last Friday’s close as the Nasdaq and top stocks Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and others gained modest ground to scratch their way to one-month highs, WKHS collapsed nearly 15% over five sessions.
Adding salt to WKHS’ painful price behavior, many EV names fared better. Tesla (NASAQ:TSLA) put in a similar performance to its large-cap peers, but China’s Nio (NYSE:NIO) soared higher by almost 33% to all-time highs. New-to-the-market XPeng (NYSE:XPEV) took in more than 8% on the week.
To be fair, Workhorse shareholders can commensurate with Nikola (NASDAQ:NKLA). Nikola was also under pressure and finished down 20% for the weekly period. Still, Nikola has been a company-specific car wreck the past couple months with allegations of fraud from Hindenburg Research continuing to haunt the stock.
A Scathing Report
So, what’s behind the dampened spirits at Workhorse? Apparently, WKHS stock has a bit more in common with Nikola than just shares being firmly lower last week. Much of Workhorse’s price weakness can be attributed to bearish follow-through after short-seller Fuzzy Panda Research released a scathing attack on the company. The boutique investment advisor warned on Oct. 8 that Workhorse misled investors as it vies for the United States Post Office’s $6.3 billion next-generation vehicle contract.
Fuzzy Panda claims that the company’s vehicles are plagued with issues and exceed the USPS’ maximum cost guidelines. The firm also said Workhorse’s one-time partner, VT Hackney, has already backed out of the bid due to ‘critical failures and breakdowns.’
Its Lordstown Motors Corp. stake is more hype than sales substance. Not to mention a much-publicized UPS contract for 950 trucks is non-binding and unlikely to be fulfilled.
WKHS Stock Weekly Price Chart
Source: Charts by TradingView
So, Fuzzy Panda has sunk its claws into WKHS stock. The good news is today’s investors may be able to thank the outfit in the not too distant future. Following last week’s volatile fallout, Workhorse could be forming a more durable and constructive high-level double-bottom, or ‘W’ pattern.
The simple fact is all stocks correct. And often enough, even in healthy market environments, technical leadership can fall victim to this type of bump in the road. Of course, some corrections can go on to become larger bear markets. But adherence to the WKHS price chart can help with that.
The slightly unusual aspect of this particular double-bottom is the mid-pivot high and low of the base are part of the same weekly candlestick. Now that’s volatility! With stochastics on the cusp of a bullish oversold crossover signal, the price spread sets up more strongly as a stock for investors to consider buying on weakness rather than strength.
My recommendation would be to wait for a stochastics crossover, then simply set a stop beneath the still unconfirmed pivot low. For straight-up stock traders and for a volatile stock of Workhorse’s caliber, this is a decent-looking risk-to-reward opportunity within a healthy market.
Alternatively for longer-term investors willing to look past Fuzzy’s less-than-transparent research, using a flexible stock option collar can appreciably make a great deal of sense through bearish and bullish market cycles in WKHS.
On the date of publication, Chris Tyler held, directly or indirectly, positions in Nio (NIO) and its derivatives, but no other securities mentioned in this article.
Chris Tyler is a former floor-based, derivatives market maker on the American and Pacific exchanges. The information offered is based on his professional experience but strictly intended for educational purposes only. Any use of this information is 100% the responsibility of the individual. For additional market insights and related musings, follow Chris on Twitter @Options_CAT and StockTwits.