Lucid Motors Stock Is A Higher-Risk Version Of Tesla

There’s a lot to like about Lucid Motors stock and its SPAC partner Churchill Capital Corp IV (NYSE:CCIV). Lucid is a pure-play on electric vehicles, one of the hottest and potentially biggest growth markets out there today.

A Lucid Motors (CCIV) building in Newark, California.
Source: gg_photography / Shutterstock.com

Unfortunately, Lucid Motors stock has too many unanswered questions at this point to be anything more than a speculative gamble. But if you’re up for playing the lottery, the long-term upside in CCIV stock could be huge.

Lucid Motors Stock Is A Long Shot

Lucid Motors stock investors who are buying the stock at this point should make sure they understand what they are getting. At this point, the stock represents more of an idea than an actual business. Lucid is guiding for 577 vehicle deliveries and roughly $100 million in revenue in 2021.  To put that number in perspective, Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) reported 184,800 deliveries and $10.3 billion in revenue in the first quarter alone. General Motors (NYSE:GM) reported 821,000 deliveries and $32.4 billion in revenue in the quarter.

In Lucid’s defense, the company is projecting staggering growth in 2022. The company has guided for more than 20,000 vehicle deliveries next year. However, as Tesla investors know very well, deadlines and targets in the EV market can be tricky. Back in 2016, Elon Musk said Tesla would deliver 1 million vehicles per year by 2020. In reality, they delivered slightly less than half that number.

CCIV stock already has a $5 billion market cap, even after a sharp pullback from its all-time high of $64.86 in February. The stock may seem like a bargain relative to those insane levels. But Lucid Motors stock still has a lot to prove to justify its current $5 billion valuation.

Better EV Investments

One of the biggest near-term headwinds for Lucid Motors stock is the boom and bust in SPAC stocks. Since mid-February, the Defiance Next Gen SPAC Derived ETF (NYSE:SPAK) ETF is down about 30%. This outflow from SPACs has nothing to do with Lucid Motors stock or its business. But investor sentiment toward SPACs is decidedly bearish at the moment. It remains to be seen just how much that skepticism will continue to weigh on CCIV stock ahead of the Lucid Motors stock merger.

Meanwhile, investors looking to invest in EVs have far safer options out there. Instead of looking for the “next Tesla,” why not just buy TSLA stock? I’m skeptical of Tesla’s bloated valuation. But it’s a lot less risky in my mind than a company like Lucid that is essentially trying to build another Tesla from scratch.

I see General Motors as the best EV stock in the market. GM is investing $27 billion in EV and autonomous vehicles through 2025. It plans to release 30 EV models globally by 2025. Meanwhile, while Tesla is diluting its shareholders by repeatedly raising capital, GM is largely funding its EV innovation via its extremely profitable legacy internal combustion vehicle business. Finally, GM shares trade at just 0.6 times sales and 8.5 times forward earnings, making the stock a true EV value play.

The Bull Case

Don’t get me wrong. There is a clear bull case for Lucid Motors stock . If the company can follow in Tesla’s footsteps by building a luxury EV brand and then expanding into the mass market, the Lucid lottery ticket could hit the jackpot.

I felt a similar way about Chinese EV stock Nio (NYSE:NIO) back in September 2019. At the time, the “lottery ticket” stock was trading under $2. That EV lottery ticket paid off in a huge way, and NIO stock hit $66.99 earlier this year.

There is no question Lucid Motors stock could be the next EV 10-bagger. But betting on any company to be the “next Tesla” is a very long shot to take.

If you’re investing in the global transition to electric vehicles, Lucid Motors stock may not be your best play. If you’re looking for a lottery ticket with a decent chance of paying off, CCIV stock is a speculation with tremendous upside if the stars align for Lucid in the years ahead.

On the date of publication, Wayne Duggan held a LONG position in GM. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

Wayne Duggan has been a U.S. News & World Report Investing contributor since 2016 and is a staff writer at Benzinga, where he has written more than 7,000 articles. Mr. Duggan is  the author of the book “Beating Wall Street With Common Sense,” which focuses on investing psychology and practical strategies to outperform the stock market. 


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