Li Auto Inc. LI shares were rallying on Monday after the Beijing-based electric vehicle start-up reported strong fourth-quarter revenue growth and guided to robust delivery and revenue growth for the first quarter.
What Happened: Li Auto reported a 41% year-over-year jump in fourth-quarter non-GAAP earnings to 967.6 million yuan or $140.3 million. This marked a reversal from the third-quarter non-GAAP loss of 1.24 billion yuan.
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The strong earnings growth came on the back of revenue climbing 66%, to 17.65 billion yuan or $2.56 billion, exceeding the consensus estimate of $2.52 billion. As reported earlier in January, fourth-quarter deliveries rose 31.5% to 46,319 units.
“We successfully executed our growth strategy in 2022, cementing our leadership in the family SUV segment while holistically strengthening our business across R&D, supply chain, direct sales and servicing network,” said Xiang Li, founder, chairman and CEO of the company.
CFO Tie Li said, “Our fourth quarter gross margin remained robust at 20.2% and our free cash flow was RMB3.26 billion, thanks to the strengths of our products, our disciplined cost management and focused execution.”
The company launched its Li L7, a five-seat flagship family SUV, on Feb. 8.
Looking Ahead: For the first quarter, Li Auto expects deliveries of 52,000 and 55,000 vehicles, representing 64-73% growth. The Chinese EV maker expects fourth-quarter revenue to come in between $2.53 billion and $2.68 billion, up 83-93%. Analysts, on average, expect $2.53 billion in revenue for the first quarter.
Price Action: Li Auto shares, which closed Friday’s session at $23.23, advanced about 5.73% to $24.56 in premarket trading on Monday, according to Benzinga Pro data.
Li Auto’s peers Nio Inc. NIO and XPeng Inc. XPEV also rallied, with the former adding 3.44% to $9.63, while the latter gained 5.12% to $8.83.
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