Q4 Deliveries Send Tesla Shares to New High, Boost Chinese Competitors

The three China-based electric vehicle (EV) makers that investors watch most closely have all reported deliveries for the month of December, the fourth quarter of 2020 and the full-year. All three more than doubled deliveries compared to deliveries in 2019.

Over the weekend, U.S. EV maker Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) reported a preliminary total of 499,550 vehicles in 2020, just inches short of its goal of 500,000. Its three Chinese competitors combined deliver nearly 87,000, less than 20% of Tesla’s yearly total.

The first of the three to reveal 2020 deliveries was Li Auto Inc. (NASDAQ: LI). The Beijing-based company delivered 6,126 vehicles in December, up 32% month over month and nearly 530% year over year. Fourth-quarter deliveries totaled 14,464, up 67% year over year. For the full year, deliveries totaled 32,624.

Li Auto began volume deliveries of its Li ONE model in November of 2019 and had delivered more than 10,000 by the time of its July 2020 IPO.

Xpeng Inc. (NYSE: XPEV) reported December deliveries of 5,700 vehicles, up 35% month over month and 326% year over year. Quarterly sales totaled 12,964, up 51% sequentially and 303% year over year. For the full year, Xpeng delivered 27,401 vehicles, up 112% year over year.

Xpeng completed its IPO in August, raising $1.5 billion and closing its first trading session up 67% from the IPO price of $15 per share.

Tesla’s 2020 deliveries rose from 367,656 in 2019, up about 36% year over year.

The largest of the three Chinese companies, Nio Ltd. (NYSE: NIO), reported Sunday that it had delivered 7,007 vehicles in December, up 121% year over year. For the quarter, Nio delivered 17,353 EVs, up by 111% year over year. Full-year deliveries totaled 43,728, a jump of nearly 113% year over year.

On Saturday, January 9, the company is scheduled to introduce its fourth model, a new sedan, to join the ES8 top-of-the-line SUV, ES6 high-performance SUV and EC6, its premium coupe.

In addition to vehicles, Tesla and its Chinese competitors have delivered piles of new shares to willing investors. Nio completed two secondary offerings in 2020 that raised around $4 billion. Li Auto and Xpeng have each completed one follow-on offering, raising $1.6 billion and $2.2 billion, respectively.

But the heavyweight champion remains Tesla, which raised $12 billion (gross proceeds) in three secondary stock offerings last year.

In the first trading session of 2021, Tesla shares traded up about 4.6% to $738.35, above the prior 52-week range of $70.10 to $718.72. The previous high was posted last Thursday. The consensus price target on the stock is just $431.33.

Li Auto shares traded up about 9.7%, at $31.62 in a 52-week range of $14.31 to $47.70. The stock’s consensus price target is $32.93.

Xpeng traded up about 7.7% to $46.13, in a 52-week range of $17.11 to $74.49. The price target is $49.04.

Nio’s shares traded up about 8.6%, at $52.92 in a 52-week range of $2.11 to $57.20, well above its consensus price target of $40.74.

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