China EV Maker Li Auto Misses Views, Guides Low

China EV Maker Li Auto Misses Views, Guides Low

Li Auto (LI) reported weaker-than-expected first-quarter profits and a low level for the current quarter, as the once-hot Chinese electric vehicle maker struggles with increased competition. Li Auto’s stock plunged on Monday.


XPeng (XPEV) releases its first quarter results Tuesday morning. XPEV stock rose ahead of the open, as did Nio (NIO) and newly public Zeekr (Z.K.). Chinese electric vehicle and battery giant BYD (I WILL) issued a buy signal late last week. You’re here (TSLA) inclined higher.

Li’s automatic winnings

Li Auto earned 17 cents per U.S. ADR, down 10.5% from 19 cents a year earlier. Wall Street expected 24 cents. Revenue rose 36% from a year earlier, to a modest $3.6 billion.

As previously reported, Li Auto delivered 80,400 vehicles in the first quarter, up 53% from a year earlier but down 39% from the fourth quarter. The decline from the fourth quarter reflects the typical weakness in China’s auto sales during the Lunar New Year holiday, but also weak orders in March.

The Mega minivan, Li’s first all-battery electric vehicle (BEV), has seen low demand. The bulk of Li’s sales come from the SUV range of extended-range electric vehicles, essentially a form of plug-in hybrid.

Li Auto expects deliveries of 105,000 to 110,000 vehicles in the second quarter, up 21 to 27 percent from a year earlier, but lower than analysts’ estimates. Li has already delivered 25,787 vehicles in April, so the second quarter forecast assumes deliveries of 79,213 to 84,213 for May-June.

Revenue is expected to be between $4.1 billion and $4.3 billion, up 4% to 9% from a year earlier. Analysts expected $5.17 billion.

In recent weeks, Li Auto has announced significant price drops on all of its vehicles except the all-new L6 SUV, its smallest and most affordable vehicle.

Earlier this month, the electric vehicle maker announced it would lay off more than 18% of its workforce.

Li Auto Stock

Li Auto shares plunged nearly 13% to 21.77, undercutting the 52-week low of 23.04 set on April 25. Last week, LI stock fell 6.7% to 24.89.

Stock XPeng

XPeng stock rose 0.4%, moving away from the 50-day line. Early Tuesday, XPeng is expected to post a loss of 33 cents per U.S. ADR compared to a loss of 38 cents a year earlier. Revenue is expected to jump nearly 50% to $857 million.

Other Electric Vehicle Stocks

Nio stock fell 1% early Monday, continuing to hold above the 50-day line but well below its 200-day line. Shares rose 4.1% to 5.28 last week. Nio earnings are due on May 29. Last week, Nio officially unveiled the first, more affordable model of its Onvo brand. The L60 crossover is a new rival to the Model Y.

Zeekr stock fell 1%, reversing early gains. Zeekr, a Chinese electric vehicle brand from auto giant Geely, went public in the United States earlier this month at 21 per share. ZK stock jumped to 29.36 intraday on May 13, but then fell back.

BYD shares, traded over-the-counter in the United States, rose slightly. Shares rose 1.2% to 28.73 last week, holding support at the 200-day line and breaking a downtrend, providing early entry. Investors could view the recent action as a high sign of near-term consolidation or as a traditional sign of a base going back to late 2023. Either way, the official buy point is 29, 52.

Tesla stock fell 1.4% early Monday. Shares rallied 5.3% last week to 177.46, rebounding from the 50-day line. Tesla faces growing competition from Xiaomi, Nio and BYD in China.

Please follow Ed Carson on X/Twitter at @IBD_ECarson and discussions about @edcarson1971 for stock market updates and more.


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