Cincinnati’s Workhorse Group Inc (NASDAQ:WKHS) continues to feel the impact of being passed over for a contract to supply the United States Postal Services (USPS) with a fleet of electric delivery vans. That contract was a big deal, worth as much as $6 billion. Being a frontrunner and the only bidder offering a pure EV solution boosted WKHS stock to 546% growth in 2020.
The surge continued this year, as the final decision approached — even as a new president pushed “Made-in-America” and zero emissions agendas. Two factors that many felt would cement Workhorse’s bid for the USPS contract.
Of course, we know how that turned out. Workhorse ultimately lost the contract, and WKHS stock plummeted. Disappointing as the outcome of the USPS contract may have been, the market reaction feels overwrought. Workhorse is a viable commercial EV company, with multiple last-mile delivery vehicles in its portfolio. The company has already inked deals for the delivery of thousands of vehicles.
WKHS stock rates an “A” in Portfolio Grader, and the post-USPS contract slump makes it an attractively priced option for taking advantage of the coming wave to electrify the nation’s delivery and urban commercial fleets.
WKHS Stock: Earnings Show Promise
On March 1, Workhorse announced fourth-quarter and full-year 2020 earnings results. Sales for Q4 were $652,000 compared to $19,000 the year before. For the year, net income was about $69.8 million compared to a loss of $37.2 million in 2019. While far from spectacular, this is a company that’s just ramping up production.
However, the company’s CEO released a statement that sums up the positives for Workhorse going into 2021:
“We’re entering the new year in our strongest-ever position, both financially and operationally. Counting over $200 million of cash on our balance sheet, we are well capitalized to expand our manufacturing throughput, and with over 8,000 vehicles in our backlog, we now have the order book to reliably build for our multi-year growth plan.”
Now, that doesn’t sound like a company that was staggered by the loss of a single — albeit high-profile — contract.
Zero Emissions and Made-in-America
The election of President Joe Biden has made the job of marketing Workhorse’s commercial EVs like the C1000 series far easier.
Crucially, President Biden has set a goal of having the U.S. achieve a 100% clean energy economy by no later than 2050. That means net-zero emissions. There will be massive government investment in the transportation sector. There will be incentives to wean corporate delivery and commercial fleets off polluting fossil fuels.
In addition, on Jan. 25, President Biden signed a Made-in-America executive order. This order calls for the electrification of the entire federal government vehicle fleet of 645,000 vehicles. The EV replacements are to be made in America.
U.S. Market for Last Mile Delivery Vehicles is Much Larger Than the USPS
When it lost the USPS contract, Workhorse lost out on the opportunity to sell as many as 165,000 EVs. That’s a big order. But in the federal government fleet alone, there are still hundreds of thousands of vehicles to be replaced.
On the commercial front, the market for last mile delivery and service vehicles is massive. In 2017, it was estimated that between couriers and the USPS, there were 400,000 last mile delivery vans on U.S. roads. Take the USPS out of the equation and that leaves 235,000 still up for grabs (plus additions in the three years since). The explosion in popularity of online shopping during the pandemic required additional growth. The size of the last mile delivery market is projected to continue to grow at a CAGR of 14% through 2024.
More deliveries means more delivery vans are needed. Some of the biggest courier companies are already testing Workhorse vehicles.
Delivery vehicles are just one part of the market. Workhorse EVs can be utilized for a wide range of urban activities. For example, look at all the plumbing and electrician vans on the road.
We’ve been focused on the U.S., but there’s nothing to stop Workhorse from expanding to global markets. Globally, there were 129,000 commercial EV’s sold in 2020. That number is projected to top 2 million units by 2028.
Bottom Line on WKHS Stock
Last week, I wrote that the “punishment of WKHS stock looks like a real opportunity to snap up shares in a Made-in-America commercial EV company just as demand is starting to heat up.” That assessment still stands.
This is a stock that will benefit from two huge trends: the move toward EVs, and the directive to buy American-made products.
It’s at the commercial level, so Workhorse hasn’t had the same attention that EV car makers have. And its time in the spotlight was focused on the USPS contract. The loss of that contract has had speculators running for the exit, but as an American manufacturer with proven commercial EVs ready for sale, Workhorse is positioned to take advantage of a coming wave of electrification that is much larger than just one contract.
On the date of publication, neither Louis Navellier nor the InvestorPlace Research Staff member primarily responsible for this article held (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.
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