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Nikola Stock: Behind Its Recent Fall from Grace

If you have been paying attention to the news on Nikola Corp. (Nasdaq: NKLA) and its stock, the news has been, well, not that great. While the stock’s fall from grace really started in June, it has been accelerating rapidly the last few weeks, and it’s been quite painful for shareholders.

The problems began when Trevor Milton, the company’s chairman, was accused of lying about Nikola’s product.

In other words, there are allegations of fraudulent conduct.

Originally, Nikola denied that there was any basis to the allegations and Milton seemed safe. But then just days later, Milton’s role as chairman of the firm was over and the company announced that he was resigning.

So what happened here?

The Aftermath for Nikola Stock

Once Milton resigned, Nikola stock shareholders realized there was some basis to the allegations. The sell-off began… or as I like to say, the stock started to get “Theranosed.”

It lost 20% of its value in one day.

But that may have been only the beginning of the company’s troubles. Nikola recently signed a partnership agreement with General Motors (NYSE: GM), which may now be in trouble.

Not everyone has been caught by surprise here, though.

All the way back in June, Contributing Analyst to Wealthy Retirement and Investment U Jody Chudley argued that Nikola stock was definitely not a buy.

He was right.

Here’s what happened since Chudley made that call:

Nikola Takes a Tumble

Almost prophetic, to say the least. But Chudley wasn’t simply guessing. His main reason for his warning on Nikola was that the stock seemed to be based on little more than hype, and the valuation of the stock was divorced from company fundamentals.

The main telling point is that an expensive stock with nothing to show in revenue, profits or cash flow is likely not a good buy. On June 16th, when Chudley made his call, the stock’s market valuation was $30+ billion.

Now, obviously, it’s considerably less.

The Future for Nikola

Okay, so Jody Chudley got the call right and Nikola’s been a bad investment since June. But as investors, we don’t care as much about the past than we do about the future. So what does Chudley have to say about that?

“Even with shares down by more than 60% from where they were when I first warned about Nikola back in June,” Chudley said, “don’t have any interest in owning this stock.”

The company doesn’t expect to earn any revenue until 2023. Compare that with other big automobile manufacturers like Toyota (NYSE: TM) or Ford (NYSE: F), which all earn more than $100 billion in annual sales. So where’s the real value here?

In light of the recent allegations about its products, one may want to stay quite clear of this electric vehicle manufacturer. But is there any reason to think Nikola stock has a bright future?

Chudley doesn’t think so, and quite frankly neither do I. “Story stocks” with little in tangible assets to back them up can crash and burn fast. It seems like that Nikola learned that the hard way.

So, if you were thinking about investing in Nikola stock, you may want to steer yourself far away. There are plenty of other great stocks out there to choose from. We tell you all about them each weekday in our free daily e-letter. If you’re interested, you can subscribe to Investment U below.


About

Brian M. Reiser has a Bachelor of Science degree in Management with a concentration in finance from the School of Management at Binghamton University.

He also holds a B.A. in philosophy from Columbia University and an M.A. in philosophy from the University of South Florida.

His primary interests at Investment U include personal finance, debt, tech stocks and more.

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