Li Auto sees net income fall in Q1, guidance for Q2 misses expectations

Li Auto sees net income fall in Q1, guidance for Q2 misses expectations

Li Auto guides for second-quarter vehicle deliveries to be in the range of 105,000 to 110,000, meaning it expects to deliver a total of 79,213 to 84,213 vehicles in May and June.

Li Auto (NASDAQ: LI) reported a significant decline in revenue and net income in the first quarter as deliveries declined, and guidance for the second quarter fell short of Wall Street expectations.

The company reported revenue of RMB 25.6 billion yuan ($3.6 billion) in the first quarter, in line with analysts’ estimates of 25.58 billion yuan, according to its unaudited results released today.

That’s up 36.4 percent from RMB 18.8 billion in the same period last year, but down 38.6 percent from RMB 41.7 billion in the fourth quarter of 2023.

Li Auto delivered 80,400 vehicles in the first quarter, exceeding the upper end of its lowered guidance range of 76,000 to 78,000 units. That was up 52.9 percent year-on-year, but down 39 percent from the fourth quarter of last year.

It reported revenue from vehicle sales of RMB 24.3 billion in the first quarter, up 32.3 percent year-on-year, but down 39.9 percent from the fourth quarter last year.

The decline in vehicle sales revenue from the fourth quarter was mainly due to seasonal factors related to the Chinese New Year holiday and a lower-than-expected order intake in March, the company said.

Li Auto’s first-quarter net income was RMB 591.1 million, down 36.7 percent from a year earlier and down 89.7 percent from the fourth quarter.

It reported non-GAAP net income of RMB 1.3 billion in the first quarter, down 9.7 percent year-on-year from the first quarter of 2023 and down 72.2 percent from the fourth quarter.

The company reported basic and diluted net income per ADS attributable to ordinary shareholders of RMB 0.60 and RMB 0.56, respectively, in the first quarter, compared to RMB 0.95 and RMB 0.89 in the first quarter of 2023 and RMB 5.72 and RMB 5.32, respectively, in the fourth quarter.

Its non-GAAP basic and diluted net income per ADS attributable to common shareholders was RMB 1.29 and RMB 1.21, respectively, in the first quarter, compared to RMB 1.44 and RMB 1.35 in the first quarter of 2023 and RMB 4.54 and RMB 4.23, respectively, in the fourth quarter.

Li Auto’s gross margin was 20.6 percent in the first quarter, higher than 20.4 percent in the same period last year, but lower than 23.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2023.

It had a vehicle margin of 19.3 percent in the first quarter, down from 19.8 percent in the same period last year and down from 22.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2023.

The decrease in vehicle margin compared to the fourth quarter was primarily due to lower average selling prices as a result of a change in pricing strategy in the first quarter of 2024, as well as true-up adjustments of warranty reserve in the fourth quarter of 2023 based on updated estimate of costs of future claims, the company said.

It spent RMB 3 billion on research and development in the first quarter, up 64.6 percent from a year ago while down 12.7 percent from the fourth quarter of 2023.

Free cash flow was negative RMB 5.1 billion in the first quarter, compared to RMB 6.7 billion in the first quarter of 2023 and RMB 14.6 billion in the fourth quarter.

As of March 31, 2024, the company’s cash position was RMB 98.9 billion, Li Auto said.

Li Auto expects vehicle deliveries in the second quarter to be in the range of 105,000 to 110,000 units, implying year-on-year growth of 21.3 percent to 27.1 percent, below analysts’ expectations of 130,692 units.

It guided second-quarter revenue to be in the range of RMB 29.9 billion to RMB 31.4 billion, representing year-on-year growth of 4.2 percent to 9.4 percent, below market expectations of RMB 38.63 billion.

Considering Li Auto delivered 25,787 vehicles in April, the guidance means it expects to deliver a total of 79,213 to 84,213 vehicles in May and June.

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