Commercial electric-truck startup Nikola (NASDAQ:NKLA) appears to be staring down the light at the end of the tunnel as NKLA stock rallies after disclosing plans to finally settle up on long-standing fines with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Nikola also treated investors to an exciting window into the company’s manufacturing progress.
The vehicle maker’s future has been uncertain since the SEC launched a probe into the company after Nikola founder Trevor Milton was accused of making misleading claims on social media regarding the company’s technological capabilities. Milton was indicted on fraud charges this past July after the SEC issued a scathing report. The report detailed his “public relations blitz” and over $1 billion in fraudulent investments his tactics earned him. The probe has stained the startup for more than a year, and its share price generally reflected that. But no longer.
NKLA stock surged more than 20% to a five-month high after a transparent third-quarter earnings call this morning. The Nikola leadership disclosed their estimates for a $125 million civil penalty as part of the SEC settlement. Which, they expect will be paid in installments over a 2-year period. They also revealed intentions to have Milton reimburse the company for the penalty as a matter of attribution.
NKLA Stock on the Move
Nikola had some tangible progress to report to share holders, even despite a $267.6 million net loss on the quarter.
President and CEO Mark Russell revealed plans to rollout the Tre Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) and Tre Battery Electric Vehicle (Bev) by early 2023. He went so far as to reveal a manufacturing capacity of 20,000 zero emission trucks at its flagship Coolidge, Arizona manufacturing facility.
According to Russell, the BEV and FCEV are already well on their way to commercial use. He announced that several trucks are currently undergoing track testing in Europe and the United States.
Perhaps most excitingly, Russell provided insight into several early customers of the trucks. Nikola is collaborating with IVECO, PGT Trucking and Ring Power Corporation to lease up to 135 trucks through 2022.
This could be the beginning of a harmonious period for the startup, assuming it can successfully shake off the bad press that plagued it to this point.
On the date of publication, Shrey Dua did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.