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Fisker Reports Net Loss of $177 Million

Manhattan Beach-based Fisker Inc. fell short of analysts expectations with a net loss of $177 million in the first quarter.

The electric vehicle maker posted a net loss of $0.63 per share on May 17. Analysts had anticipated a net loss of 19 cents a share. The loss included $27 million in research and development costs, up from $17 million in fourth quarter of 2020.

The company’s revenue added just $22,000 in the quarter, while its cash reserves are at $985 million.

Fisker shares declined about 2% during after-hours trading on May 17, giving the company a market value of about $3.3 billion. The dip in stock value came after a brief rally that followed Friday’s announcement of a deal with Foxconn Technology Group in Taiwan to jointly develop and manufacture a new electric vehicle that will cost less than $30,000.

“Our manufacturing partnership strategy began as a way to de-risk production cost, timing, and quality,” Co-founder and Chief Executive Henrik Fisker said in a statement. “The addition of a second platform and influential supplier has created a major supply-chain advantage as well. We are already seeing evidence of better access and pricing for high-value technology shared across programs (e.g., battery, high-performance chips, displays, etc.), and we are already benefiting from the influence of each partner to ensure supply of critical components such as chipsets and semiconductors."

Fisker, which signed a memorandum of understanding with Foxconn in February, said the two companies will co-develop the Personal Electric Automotive Revolution, or Project PEAR, and has earmarked the fourth quarter of 2023 to start production of a lightweight EV platform dubbed FP28.

The company’s first vehicle, Fisker Ocean electric SUV, is set to roll off the manufacturing line in late 2022. It will be manufactured by Canadian company Magna International Inc.

“Operationally the increase in R&D and SG&A expense in Q4 2020 versus prior periods were primarily a result of the Ocean program gaining momentum in Q4,” Chief Financial Officer Geeta Gupta-Fisker told analysts during earnings call on May 17. “At the end of 2020, we were 101 employees full time, and as of today, we are 148.”

Gupta-Fisker said that she and the finance team “look at opportunities to make our cash go further and get a multiple return for every dollar we spend,” and that “monetizing a future emission credits, or even licensing the FM28 platform to other potential partners,” might provide additional source of revenue down the line.

She also said that in 2021, the company’s spending will total about $450 million and will incude “R&D expense of approximately $195 million, SG&A of approximately $30 million and CapEx of approximately $225 million.”

It will encompass engineering headcount; engineering design and development payments for various components and services provided by its suppliers and cost to build new vehicles for validation purposes.

Capital expenses will consist of “tooling for unique parts at supplier facilities and unique tooling and equipment at manufacturing facilities to produce Fisker vehicles,” she added.

Mediha DiMartino
Mediha DiMartino
Mediha DiMartino covers retail, manufacturing and the ports. She can be emailed here.

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