Lucid Stock Has a Frightening Valuation on Only a Little Good News

Lucid Group (NASDAQ:LCID) stock has been on a tear. It’s up 59% in the past month and 317% year to date.

The Lucid Motors (LCID) Plant in Arizona.
Source: Around the World Photos / Shutterstock.com

Much of that short-term run is because the company actually rolled 20 cars out of its factory and delivered them. I guess that this is where we are in the great EV race. Just delivering cars is cause for celebration.

There’s no doubt that LCID has built a car that everyone seems to be impressed by, even its critics. It claims to have a massive range (more than 500 miles), it’s beautifully built and has plenty of get-up and go.

But there are also a couple other pieces to the story that make LCID stock and the company it represents compelling.

LCID Stock Has Pedigree and Power

One thing that sets LCID apart from the other hopefuls out there is that many members of LCID management are car industry veterans. They’re not people with a great idea that have backed into EVs as a unique niche to exploit.

The designer of the Lucid Air is Derek Jenkins. He has worked as a car designer for two decades for the likes of Mazda, Audi and Volkswagen. He was the director of design for Mazda North America and designed the Mazda MX-5 Miata that won World Car of the Year and World Design of the Year in 2016.\

Peter Rawlinson is CEO and CTO of LCID, and he was the former chief engineer of the Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) Model S. That’s some serious firepower. That’s the pedigree.

As for the power, I’m not talking about the juice that fills the batteries. I’m talking about the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF), which is backed by the Saudi Sovereign Wealth Fund. PIF invested $1 billion in LCID in 2018.

That was certainly helpful, but there was more to the deal than just the money. Right now, LCID has an impressive production facility in Casa Grande, Arizona.

Saudi Arabia has a plan to localize half of its car import volume by 2030. That means The Kingdom wants to start building cars in the country.

Lucid Motors is one of its top choices. The company is currently expected to build a $3 billion manufacturing plant in The Kingdom by 2024.

The Kingdom has also committed to having 30% of its cars in Riyadh EVs by 2030 and has begun developing EV charging infrastructure to help transition the nation for more EVs.

The Price of Admission

For all that’s good and exciting about LCID stock and the company, the trouble is, LCID stock’s current market cap in nearly $60 billion. Ford’s (NYSE:F) market cap is $74 billion.

LCID rolled less than two dozen cars out of its facility. Ford sold 156,000 cars in September. And that was a bad month.

My point here is that the hot EV stocks are wildly overpriced and LCID stock is no exception. I can’t get my head around the value here when there isn’t really any proof of concept.

We don’t know how reliable the cars are. What about parts and service? Maintenance issues? Production quality control? This seems an odd time to front load the value of the stock when nothing has really proven out.

Yes TSLA is coming along. But a $1+ trillion market cap? Competitors with global supply chains, retail, and manufacturing facilities all entering the picture and new startup competitors jumping in as well are going to eat into that current dominance.

I can’t justify this price, but I wish LCID stock all the best in keeping its A-game coming.

On the date of publication, GS Early 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.

GS Early has been an award-winning financial writer and editor for nearly three decades, working with many of the leading financial editors (Louis Navellier, Richard Band, Steven Leeb, Jim Collins, Roger Conrad, Elliott Gue, Maria Bartiromo, Neil George, Keith FitzGerald, Michael Robinson, and more) during that time. He’s seen a few things and hears more.


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