Faraday Future’s FF91 electric car on display at the 2017 Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada on Jan. 7, 2017.
Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images
Stock in electric vehicle start-up Faraday Future is popping Thursday morning, and not for its compelling strategy. It isn’t going directly after
It just completed its merger with a SPAC and now has another $1 billion to use in the EV battle.
Faraday Future closed its acquisition with SPAC
Wednesday evening. The deal closing brings in the roughly $1 billion which was on the SPACs balance sheet.
The stock symbol has changed from “PSAC” to “FFIE.” The stock price isn’t affected though. At Wednesday’s closing price of $13.78, Faraday has a market capitalization of roughly $4.7 billion based on 338 million fully diluted shares outstanding after the merger closed. The stock was up 9.1% at $15.02 at 9:57 a.m. Thursday.
That gives the company a value similar to
(FSR), but far short of Lucid Motors. Lucid is merging with
(CCIV). Its market cap based on the share count after the merger closes is about $37 billion.
Right now, Lucid is the king of publicly tradable EV startups. Investors like a few things about it. They like the car. The Lucid Air is a very nice automobile. They like the fact that Lucid has manufacturing capacity that can churn out production vehicles and not just prototypes. They like management. CEO Peter Rawlinson worked at Tesla. They also like the strategy. Lucid is making a high-end sedan first, then it will make a high-end SUV and lower-priced cars down the road. It is a Tesla-like strategy.
Faraday has a few similarities, but a few key differences. Faraday is starting high end, like Lucid, but it’s aiming even higher than a Tesla (TSLA) Model S which can retail for around $100,000. Faraday’s FF 91 crossover is more comparable to a Mercedes S-class Maybach. Faraday is after the likes of Bentley and Maserati. And like Lucid, Faraday has production capacity—an old Pirelli tire factory in California—though it isn’t making cars yet.
Faraday differs in its market approach. The company has a dual market strategy with a presence in both the U.S. and China. China is the largest EV market in the world. A strong presence in that country will be important for the future success of any EV start-up.
Faraday looks like it has all the elements of a winning strategy with the car being the most important part. The FF 91 feels like a mobile office complete with space-age seats and a huge drop-down display, which passengers in the back can use to take a Zoom call or watch a movie. Doors, entertainment, screens, and just about everything else can be controlled with natural voice commands.
And the vehicle performance is, frankly, better than the highest-end luxury cars. A Bentley or Mercedes S-class can come with roughly 500 horsepower—a lot for a gasoline-powered car. The FF 91 has more than 1,000 horsepower and can go zero to 60 miles an hour in about 2.6 seconds. It’s getting tough for gasoline engines to keep up.
PSAC shares, coming into Thursday, are up about 38% year to date, far better than comparable gains of the
Shares, however, popped to $17.07 the day after the SPAC merger was announced on January 28. So the stock has given back some of its postmerger announcement gains.
SPAC merger stocks tend to shoot up the day the stock symbol changes. There is no great fundamental reason they should. But finishing the merger removes one risk for investors—the risk the deal won’t happen. What’s more, index and mutual fund buyers typically wait until deals are done to start buying.
Wall Street typically also waits for mergers to wrap up. For now, there are two ratings on PSAC stock, which is now FFIE stock: Mike Ward of Benchmark Capital, who rates shares Buy and has a $26 price target, and Fox Advisors analyst Steven Fox, who rates shares Buy with a $20 a share target. Fisker has 11 analysts covering its stock.
Now that the merger is completed, investors can expect some additional ratings in the coming months. And that should be good for the stock too.
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