One Analyst Has Risked a Big Buy Rating on Nikola Stock

Nikola Corp. (NASDAQ: NKLA) shares saw a handy gain on Wednesday after the first analyst got behind this electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer. Note that Nikola only came public on June 3, so there is a quiet period for some analysts covering the stock. However, those that did not participate in the offering are free to issue ratings.

Cowen’s Jeffery Osborne initiated coverage on Nikola with a Buy rating and a $79 price target, implying an upside of roughly 25% from Tuesday’s closing price. Note that this is the first official call on Nikola stock.

Osborne noted in his report that, “We see Nikola as an intriguing investment opportunity.” He went on to highlight that the company is leveraging one truck platform, two powertrain options and three business segments, with optionality in powersports, pickups and ATVs.

The truck platform is for a heavy-duty vehicle, the type that hauls freight on highways. The two power trains are batteries and hydrogen fuel cells, while the three business segments are battery-powered short-haul heavy-duty trucks, fuel-cell-powered long-haul heavy-duty trucks and hydrogen filling stations.

Separately, Nikola is planning on a light truck, among other battery-powered vehicles that will be built by its manufacturing partners.

Looking at the EV industry as a whole, Wall Street doesn’t appear to view the industry favorably. Only 25% of analysts covering rival EV companies, Tesla and Nio, rate those shares as Buy. Despite Tesla’s massive run this year, analysts are still skeptical on the cult of Musk.

Again, what makes this Cowen rating significant is that it is the first to come out for this EV firm and it is glaringly positive.

Nikola stock traded up about 3% Wednesday to $64.81, in a post-IPO range of $10.27 to $93.99.