It has been a confusing several months for anyone following Naked Brand Group. Last November, the struggling clothing and intimate apparel retailer announced the acquisition of privately held electric vehicle (EV) maker Cenntro Automotive Group.
In December, Naked announced a 1-15 reverse stock split and officially changed its name. And last Friday, the NAKD stock ticker was retired. Naked Brands is now Cenntro Electric Group (NASDAQ:CENN). That has been a lot to digest. At this point, CENN stock is trading at $3.18 and offers the intriguing potential to get in on a successful commercial EV manufacturer on the cheap.
Many potential investors will automatically be gun shy about investing in a meme stock. The long-term growth prospects of most meme stocks are iffy at best. And NAKD stock was most definitely a meme stock, especially in the first half of 2021 as Naked Brands sold off brands and pivoted to being a pure e-commerce play. However, in 2022 — as Cenntro Electric Group — the story may be very different. It’s worth having a look at what’s going on before making a snap decision about CENN stock.
NAKD Stock is Now CENN Stock
On Jan. 14, the transformation of Naked Brands to Cenntro was complete. The company announced that the NAKD stock ticker had officially been retired. Instead, the company would begin trading under the CENN symbol.
In its first day of trading, CENN stock popped nearly 22%. Not a bad start.
Is Cenntro Going to be in Both the EV and the Intimate Apparel Business?
A natural question in the aftermath of the Cenntro acquisition is what happens to Naked Brand’s e-commerce intimate apparel business. Even after selling off many of its lines, Naked Brands was still selling Frederick of Hollywoods apparel and swimwear. The company also had ambitions about becoming some sort of intimate apparel e-commerce platform.
Is Cenntro going to try to run both businesses? There’s not exactly any synergy between e-commerce clothing sales and commercial EV production.
At this point it is clear that Cenntro is going to focus on EVs. The company is being run by Cenntro’s existing management team. As 2021 wound down, the company announced it had divested its Frederick’s of Hollywood business. The Naked Brands website is still online, but it’s been scrubbed of all clothing and e-commerce references, with this message for visitors:
“The combined company is currently going through a re-branding and all digital assets are being updated and scheduled to be completed during the first quarter of 2022.”
I think it’s safe to say that an investment in CENN stock is an investment in a commercial EV company.
Commercial EVs Vs. Electric Cars
It’s also important to look at what Cenntro makes. Most of the fuss over EVs over the past several years has been in the automobile market. Battery-powered electric cars are surging in popularity. A growing number of startups are nearing production and traditional auto makers are about to unleash a flood of new EVs of their own.
Cenntro doesn’t play in that market. The company’s focus is on commercial EVs. These range from urban delivery vehicles to off-road utility vehicles aimed at the farming market. Those are still big markets, but unlike electric cars, there’s no one giant currently dominating that space.
Cenntro currently has five different commercial EVs in production. It has 238 patents and six assembly plants including a new facility in Florida. At this point the company says its has delivered over 3,300 EVs in 26 different countries. Those vehicles have logged a combined 20 million+ miles of operation. It is certified to sell EVs in 32 countries.
Cenntro says it is on track to deliver a minimum of 20,000 vehicles in 2022. It forecasts taking a “significant share” of the $2.1 billion in commercial EV sales forecast for 2023.
In other words, this is the real deal.
The Naked Brand and NAKD stock story through 2021 has been nothing, if not fascinating. The late 2021 shock pivot to EVs came out of left field and ratcheted the story up to the level of being almost unbelievable.
However, with the dust settling, the CENN stock story has potential. This is a company that is established in commercial EV sales, not a startup. It has over $250 million in cash. And the rush to electrify commercial fleets is on, not just in the U.S., but globally. CENN stock earns a “B” rating in Portfolio Grader. For investors looking to add a cheap EV play to their growth portfolio, Cenntro has potential.
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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