NIO vs XPeng: Which Electric Vehicle Stock Is a Better Buy?

Investing in a high-growth industrial segment carries significant risks. Market dynamics are such that sectors with exciting growth prospects attract competition like bees to honey, and companies with considerable resources can deploy sufficient capital to gain great traction in new markets quickly. For example, Fitbit (FIT) was once a market leader in the wearables space. But several tech giants, including Apple (AAPL) and China’s Xiaomi, bundled into the sector, quickly impacting Fitbit’s top-line growth…

In the last year, companies in the electric vehicle (EV) sector crushed the broader markets as the transition towards clean energy vehicles gained pace globally. This transition  will accelerate in the coming decade and has already attracted the attention of legacy manufacturers such as Volkswagen and BMW.

Nevertheless, two EV companies we think investors should analyze carefully in this disruptive segment are China-based manufacturers NIO (NIO – Get Rating) and XPeng (XPEV – Get Rating). Let’s analyze to see which stock is a better buy right now.

Click here to checkout our Electric Vehicle Industry Report for 2021

The bull case for NIO

NIO is often referred to as the Tesla (TSLA) of China, and for good reason. The company delivered a record 7,257 vehicles in March 2021 and more than 20,000 vehicles in the first quarter of 2021. While this is significantly lower than Tesla’s 184,000 quarterly figure, NIO generates most of its revenue from China. Its deliveries were up almost 100% year over year despite a shortage of automotive semiconductor chips that halted production for five days at NIO’s partner factory in Hefei.

China is the largest EV market in the world, which suggests that the sales and profit margins of NIO and peers are likely to widen at a rapid pace over the next  decade. NIO has already delivered 100,000 vehicles to date.

NIO’s sales more than doubled in 2020 and this stellar growth translated into a stock return of more than  1,100% last year. But this year, EV stocks have been  trailing the broader market and have lost momentum because investors are concerned  about their steep valuations.

NIO stock is currently trading 41% below its record high and is valued at a market cap of $61 billion, indicating a forward price-to-sales multiple of 11.7x. Analysts tracking the stock expect NIO to increase its sales by  107% to $5.22 billion in 2021, while its revenue is forecasted to rise by 65% to $8.6 billion in 2022.

NIO might sell close to 100,000 vehicles this year and this figure could  rise to 500,000 by 2025. These exciting growth prospects may explain  why investors are bullish on NIO stock.

The bull case for XPeng

XPeng also more than doubled its vehicle deliveries in 2020 to 27,041. It recently introduced a sedan EV model, which is likely to drive future top-line growth. XPeng launched the P7 sports sedan at the start of 2020. The  vehicle has surpassed 20,000 deliveries to date. In fact, it was China’s fastest EV vehicle  to reach this landmark.

Earlier this month, XPeng launched its…

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