- Mullen Automotive (MULN) already has an online dealership platform it developed prior to making its EVs.
- The solid state battery developed by the Battery Innovation Center has higher energy density and is safer than a lithium ion battery.
- Delivering on Q2 promises will be key to its survival.
Even in the carnage, Mullen Automotive (NASDAQ:MULN) stock has my attention.
We’re finally getting to a point where all the enthusiasm of multi-year bull market is washing out of the system.
Investors new to the markets are better understanding the Wall Street saying, “everyone is a genius in a bull market.” But some still think they can outwit the pros that go to work, day after day, year after year, simply to make the trades that keep their institutional investors happy.
Remember, at least 85% of market activity is institutional investing. Certainly in recent years, individual investors have come up with some pretty creative strategies for trying to get around the Street. But in the scheme of things, they don’t last, as many investors are finding out now.
But that doesn’t mean that you should just give and buy a index mutual fund. There are still place where the big players can’t or won’t touch, and one of them is small cap stocks.
And that’s why the MULN stock story interests me. It may break either way at this point.
The Two Faces of MULN Stock
In bull markets, showmen like Elon Musk are very exciting because they embody all the aspirations of rebel investors looking to take the system down a peg. New investors are dead-set on not making the mistakes of their parents or siblings and find a new way.
Every bull market has the same “it’s different this time” theme. And certainly Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) stock has embodied this theme.
Even today, as most EV makers have significant to massive short interest positions betting against their stocks, somehow TSLA stock has less than 3% short interest. Yet TSLA has never produced 1 million cars in a year and there are scores of significant competitors coming into the market. This is unsustainable now that the market is shedding its speculative good times.
But companies like MULN, that are on the fringes of the industry, have the opportunity to gain a toehold that can amount to something. It may be a niche in the expanding EV market or a plug-and-play buyout for a larger player. Or it could be an over-promised, underachieving footnote in history.
And that uncertainty is why MULN stock is down 90% in the past 12 months. Then again, there’s far less downside risk right now than there is for some of the bigger names.
A case in point is what has happened with Rivian (NASDAQ:RIVN) now that its IPO lockdown period has expired. Chinese EV maker NIO (NYSE:NIO) got hit when China went back into lockdown — although U.S. investors didn’t seem to worry about TSLA shutting down its China production.
The days of wildly valued, headline-grabbing EVs are over for now. And the reckonings are underway.
An Underdog or an Overhyped Minnow
MULN stock still has plenty of headwinds, to be sure. It could be a hustle. It could be this upstart’s attempt to get into the sector in a low-cost way. But we’re getting close to finding out.
It has certainly learned the TSLA playbook and is promoting its high-end car. But first, MULN is taking its FIVE SUV on tour to 19 cities around the country. MULN also announced it’s also adding its FIVE RS vehicle on the back half of the tour as well.
This will give gearheads a chance to see these cars in person. It’s an interesting strategy to build a road show instead of just booking a slot in big auto shows.
Also, MULN has a unique solid-state lithium polymer battery technology that’s being developed by the highly regarded Battery Innovation Center in Indiana. This has some compelling features that traditional lithium ion batteries don’t; they have higher energy density and they have a much lower risk of overheating and bursting into flames.
Home Run or Strike Out
If the road show doesn’t go well, strike one. If the Battery Innovation Center isn’t impressed, strike two. If the company doesn’t name its potential big partner, strike three. And if it doesn’t have any vans rolling of the line in Q2, run away.
No doubt there are some concerning issues that have been aired about management and the company’s ability to deliver what it promises. Some of this is short-seller fodder, since the more dire the story, the more money their short positions make. Some is true. There are risks.
Either way, it doesn’t cost a thing to be patient for now.
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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.