Rivian stock skids as legacy automakers rev up EV targets

Jan 6 (Reuters) - Rivian Automotive Inc's (RIVN.O) stock briefly tumbled below its IPO price on Thursday in a selloff along with other electric vehicle makers as the race for market share intensifies and legacy companies ramp up their own production.

Rivian fell as low as $75.13, below its November initial public offering price of $78 for the first time. The stock pared losses and ended down about 3% at $87.33.

Competing EV makers Tesla Inc (TSLA.O), Lordstown Motor (RIDE.O) and Fisker (FSR.N) fell between 2.1% and 3.3%, with high-flying growth stocks under pressure from expectations the U.S. Federal Reserve could raise interest sooner than previously thought.

"Rivian investors need to keep near-term expectations managed," Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas cautioned in a note to clients. "Tesla has shown us the extremely difficult path to ramping EV manufacturing. You can’t have the reward without the pain."

Jonas rates Rivian's stock "overweight."

Rivian's stock has slumped about 14% since the start of Wednesday, when Amazon.com Inc , one of Rivian's biggest investors, said it teamed up with carmaker Stellantis NV (STLA.MI).

The two companies will develop cars and trucks with Amazon software and deploy electric vans made by Stellantis on Amazon's delivery network. read more

U.S. shares of Stellantis rose 2.5% on Thursday and are now up 11% in 2022.

Rivian signed a contract in 2019 to build 100,000 electric delivery vans for Amazon by 2025. But now the electric commercial vehicle business, a vital market for Rivian, is becoming more crowded.

Rivian said on Thursday it expects Amazon to buy vehicles from many providers and that its partnership with Amazon is intact.

General Motors Co's (GM.N) electric commercial vehicle business, BrightDrop, has signed deals with Walmart Inc (WMT.N) and FedEx Corp (FDX.N), while Ford Motor (F.N) is expected to deliver its E-Transit cargo van to customers this year.

Meanwhile, General Motors Co (GM.N) this week unveiled its electric Chevrolet Silverado pickup, while Ford said it is ramping up production of F-150 Lightning. Both pickups would compete with Rivian's R1T at a time it is struggling to stick to delivery dates due to chip supply constraints.

Ford's stock has soared 18% year to date and is now at its highest level since 2001. GM has rallied 7% in 2022.

"(Rivian) investors are probably getting a little spooked by the legacy industry making a comeback," said Guidehouse Insights analyst Sam Abuelsamid.

Ford, GM overtake Rivian in market value

Rivian, which lost $1.2 billion in the third quarter, is expected to deliver cars to customers this year. Production at its second plant in Georgia, in which it has invested $5 billion, is likely to begin only by 2024.

"It's still sort of unproven in terms of investability of that as a stock versus some of the other names like Tesla, and arguably Ford," said David Keller, chief market strategist at StockCharts.com.

Reporting by Nivedita Balu and Akash Sriram in Bengaluru Additional reporting by Eva Mathews and Tiyashi Datta, and by Noel Randewich in Oakland, Calif. Editing by Nick Zieminski and Matthew Lewis

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Akash reports on technology companies in the United States, electric vehicle companies, and the space industry. His reporting usually appears in the Autos & Transportation and Technology sections. He has a postgraduate degree in Conflict, Development, and Security from the University of Leeds. Akash's interests include music, football (soccer), and Formula 1.