Polestar Earnings, Sales Fall Short. The Stock Is Shrugging.

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Electric vehicle start-up
Polestar Automotive
‘s second-quarter sales and earnings missed Wall Street estimates. Management’s guidance for the rest of 2023 looks solid, but shares are falling anyway.

Polestar (ticker: PSNY) on Thursday morning reported a per-share loss of 14 cents from sales of $685 million. Wall Street was looking for a per-share loss of 13 cents from sales of $756 million, according to FactSet. A year ago, second-quarter sales and per-share earnings came in at $589 million and 12 cents, respectively.

Polestar delivered about 15,800 vehicles in the second quarter and 27,900 vehicles in the first half of the year.

Management is happy with the company’s progress.

“We achieved record volume growth during the second quarter,” said CEO Thomas Ingenlath in a news release. “Deliveries of our significantly upgraded Polestar 2 are now ramping up. With Polestar 4 expected to start production in November and Polestar 3 in the first quarter of next year, we are entering an exciting phase of higher volumes and value from our expanded model range.”

Polestar still expects full-year deliveries to come in between 60,000 and 70,000 vehicles. Gross profit margins for 2023 are expected to be about 4%, very close to what Wall Street is projecting.

Cash used to build the business amounted to about $480 million in the second quarter, similar to the roughly $460 million used in the first quarter. Cash on hand at the end of the second quarter totaled about $1.1 billion.

Results appeared to be enough for investors in early trading. Polestar stock was down just one cent in premarket trading at $3.82 shortly after results were released. But the shares slid later in recent morning trading, down 8.5% to $3.50 a piece. The
S&P 500
Nasdaq Composite
were up 0.2% and 0.3%, respectively.

Management’s pricing discussion might be weighing on shares.

“When we look at the average selling price, there is an impact of…a negative mix effect attributable to both channel and product variant. There is also then a component of higher discounts,” said CFO Johan L. Malmqvist on the company’s earnings conference call.

Mix refers to the different kids of cars bought, such as the base model versus more upscale features. The mix with new models tends to be strongest early because these companies build and sell the most expensive versions first.

Mix normalizing isn’t a big surprise, but pricing has been a problem for all EV makers in 2023 and after
(TSLA) cut prices significantly on its models early in 2023.

Coming into Thursday trading, Polestar stock is down about 28% so far this year and down about 51% over the past 12 months. Rising interest rates and those falling car prices have weighed on investor sentiment.

Write to Al Root at [email protected]

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