D.A. Davidson sees more downside for Rivian shares as EV maker tries to ramp up production

The production ramp-up for Rivian is too uncertain for investors to back the company, according to investment firm D.A. Davidson. Analyst Michael Shlisky initiated coverage of the electric vehicle stock with an underperform rating, saying in a note to clients on Wednesday evening that there is too much execution risk for new auto companies in this market. “Like most EV startups, there have been bumps in the road; while we loved the truck we tested, we are worried that negative headlines will outnumber the positives in the months to come,” Shlisky wrote. Rivian came public last year during a boom in investor interest in electric vehicle stocks, and shares jumped above $100 per share in the first trading session. At its opening price, Rivian had a market cap of more than $90 billion . However, market sentiment has since soured toward growth companies that lack cash flow and profits. Shares of Rivian have dropped more than 70% year to date. Additionally, Rivian is having to deal with the supply chain issues that are weighing on the entire auto industry, but without the long-term supplier relationships of the more established competitors. “RIVN has done better than most with respect to its ramp-up of production. It remains to be seen whether RIVN can continue to accelerate production as smoothly as its remarkable vehicles can drive, especially as new facilities open,” Shlisky wrote. D.A. Davidson set a $24 per share price target for Rivian, which is more than 20% below where the stock closed on Wednesday. — CNBC’s Michael Bloom contributed to this report.

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