Last month, I dubbed Li Auto (NASDAQ:LI) the only Chinese electric vehicle stock you need. If you thought that statement was a bit of an exaggeration, I suggest you look at the latest quarterly earnings release for LI stock.
Overall, this release helped to strengthen the bull case. Not just the results that were promising. Updates to guidance were very promising as well. We’ve yet to see the latest numbers from two comparable names, Nio (NYSE:NIO) and Xpeng (NYSE:XPEV).
Yet given how these rivals have underwhelmed with their latest delivery numbers, chances are their respective results and guidance will be in sharp contrast to the results recently released by Li, and not in a good way.
With more out there indicating that this is the strongest Chinese EV stock in the space, now may be the time to grab a position.
LI Stock and the Latest Numbers
Pre-market on May 10, Li Auto released its results for the quarter ending March 31, 2023 (Q1 2023). For the quarter, the EV maker reported $2.74 billion in revenue, up by 96.5% compared to the prior year’s quarter.
Revenue for the March quarter also represented an increase of 6.4% compared to the December quarter.
As for non-GAAP earnings, Li’s profitability jumped 196.4% compared to the prior year’s quarter, and by 252% compared to the last quarter. Non-GAAP earnings per share (20 cents) also came in ahead of the sell-side’s forecast (11 cents per share).
That’s not all. Alongside this earnings beat, like I mentioned above, management provided investors with strong guidance for the June quarter. This quarter, deliveries should jump by between 164.9% and 182.4%, compared to deliveries during Q2 2022. Revenue should jump by between 177.4% and 196.1% compared to the prior year’s quarter.
With these latest numbers and guidance coming in so strongly, it’s no surprise that LI stock has rallied on the heels of the earnings release. However, this post-earnings jump may be just the start of a continued move higher.
A True Standout, Now More Than Ever
With the Chinese government pushing for EVs to make up 40% of new vehicle sales by 2030, Chinese EV makers across the board are targeting high levels of growth between now and the end of the decade.
However, while lower-quality contenders like Nio and Xpeng talk about kicking growth back into high gear, Li Auto is clearly doing this already. Strong vehicle sales growth has arrived, resulting in strong revenue and profitability growth.
This stands to continue. The company plans to triple its model line-up within the next two years. Li’s focus on the mass market, and the fact it has become profitable despite lower vehicle prices, bodes well for its future prospects.
By focusing on just the luxury market, Nio has a smaller pool of potential buyers. As I discussed recently, Xpeng has plans to lower production costs, but a turnaround has yet to take shape.
Unlike the other U.S.-listed Chinese EV stocks well-known among stateside investors, there’s little need to “wait and see” with LI stock. Now more than ever, this makes it a true standout in the sector. That said, there are still some risks to consider.
While its future prospects shine brightly, as with any growth stock, Li Auto could experience bouts of volatility in the near-term.
With the market’s expectations now rising after earnings, a slight misstep (such as with deliveries, or with the next quarterly earnings release) could knock shares lower again.
Also, while it did not utilize it last quarter, Li Auto still has an open at-the-market offering program. There’s a $2 billion cap on this program, and the company has raised around $370 million from it since inception. If Li taps into this funding source again, the dilution could place some moderate pressure on the stock.
Nevertheless, with the aforementioned strengths far outweighing these negative factors, there’s now even more reason for investors bullish on the EV proliferation trend to begin building a position in LI stock.
LI stock earns a B rating in Portfolio Grader.
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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