Last year was a terrible one for special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs). Before going into the numbers, let’s revisit the overall idea of a SPAC. SPACs are also called blank check companies, used by management teams to raise capital from investors, without going through the traditional IPO channels. This allows companies to raise capital in an expedited fashion, but also carries higher costs, and requires that given management team complete a merger within two years.
The pandemic was a boon for this strategy, which saw 247 SPACs go public. Notably, 2021 was even busier, with 610 SPAC mergers completed, 295 in Q1 alone. In 2021, those SPACs raised $160.75 billion.
Rising interest rates and regulatory scrutiny drastically shrank the market in 2022, when a mere 86 SPAC IPOs took place valued at $13.42 billion.
The market has tanked, and many SPACs have gone belly up. That said, given how many companies went public, we can certainly find a few winners. Here are three such SPAC stocks I think long-term investors should think about owning right now.
Fisker (NYSE:FSR) delivered its first Ocean SUV on May 5 to customers in Copenhagen and Munich, bringing it into the next phase of its strategy. This EV manufacturer is currently executing on its well-conceived plan. It’s this factor that makes FSR among the SPAC stocks that continue to have upside this year.
Let’s quickly revisit that strategy. Fisker directed its blank check proceeds into a plan to outsource the production of its Ocean SUV so that it could focus on marketing and everything else. The company identified Magna International (NYSE:MGA) as its production partner, due to the firm’s long history of high-quality OEM production across the automotive industry.
Production commenced as scheduled on Nov. 17, with 63,000 reservations and two sold-out trim levels in the U.S.
That leads us to the first delivery on May 5. Deliveries in Europe have begun, with U.S. deliveries expected to commence next month. Fisker expects production rates between 32,000-36,000 for the entire year. Large losses will persist as production increases, but Fisker has done most of what it set out to do, and that sets it apart from most SPACs which have failed or continue to fail.
SoFi Technologies (SOFI)
SoFi Technologies (NASDAQ:SOFI) stock, as noted by my colleague Dana Blankenhorn, is likely the only of Chamath Palihapitiya’s SPAC offerings that still has any chance.
Palihapitiya was revered as the so-called SPAC King, after creating 12 SPACs through his firm, Social Capital. He deftly maneuvered around traditionally-strict IPO rules, leveraging the risk appetite funded by excess cash during the pandemic. Lax SPAC rules allowed him to bring a host of firms public, when he likely wouldn’t otherwise have been able. However, funds have since dried up, and almost all his SPAC stocks failed in that they have made no money for investors. I think only one company has a chance of making it long-term, which happens to be SoFi Technologies.
The online bank is growing rapidly, and approaching breakeven. Revenues jumped 43% in Q1, reaching $472.2 million. Losses totaled $34.4 million after eclipsing $110 million a year earlier.
For SOFI stock to fulfill its potential in 2023, a few catalysts will have to continue to move in its favor. Banking trust is a major factor. The public remains wary of banks in general, with digital banks like SoFI drawing greater scrutiny. If SoFi can convince depositors of its safety, while also promoting its lower-cost status, this is a stock that could move higher this year.
Lucid (NASDAQ:LCID) is a very interesting stock for investors, given the current environment. There are signs that growth stocks could come back into fashion as rates flatten. If that notion takes root across the market, LCID stock could start to make a lot of sense soon.
The growth is real at Lucid. Revenues increased by 159% to $149.4 million in Q1 ‘23. Indeed, the maker of the luxury Lucid Air lineup has an in-demand product. There’s no doubt about that. Lucid produced 2,314 vehicles in the quarter, delivering 1,406, and expecting production of more than 10,000 vehicles in 2023.
But it’s also bleeding cash, with a $772 million net loss during the quarter. Current liquidity reserves are expected to last the company through Q2 2024. The company is conducting a tightrope balancing act, in which it must produce and deliver its vehicles, while financing future growth that includes a 2024 SUV launch.
It won’t be easy, but Lucid has proven that it is capable of building manufacturing operations from the ground up, and Lucid is delivering vehicles. So long as it continues along this trajectory, investors could see a path to profitability sooner than many expect right now.
On the date of publication, Alex Sirois 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.