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Rivian Earnings Are Coming. Investors are Nervous.

Rivian’s R1T truck.

Courtesy of Rivian

Rivian Automotive stock was falling ahead of the electric truck startup’s first quarterly earning report, due Thursday afternoon. The drop hints that investors anxious about what the newly public company can deliver.

Shares of Rivian (ticker: RIVN) were down 5.4%, to $108.80, in midday trading. EV pioneer Tesla (TSLA) was off as well–3.5, to $941.50. The S&P 500 was down 0.5%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.3%.

Rivian’s third-quarter numbers should be wild. Wall Street projects about a $5 per-share loss and sales of just $1 million. For 2022, Wall Street is projecting sales of $3.5 billion.

Almost nothing, however, could matter less to the EV maker’s long-term outlook than its coming financial results.

Rivian has only started pumping out its R1T truck, which explains the paltry sales figure. And its IPO was in early November, which means the numbers should include odd share counts and special charges that will skew bottom line results.

What investors will be waiting for, on the other hand, is an update about truck production, truck demand, production capacity and when the company’s SUV, called R1S, will ship. The R1S is due at some point in 2022.

Rivian has scheduled its conference call at 4:30 p.m. eastern time. Management’s comments will be a bigger deal than the results—this time around.

Whatever management says, investors should brace for stock volatility. Rivian shares have been on a roller coaster—up or down, an average of about 7.3% a day—since it went public. The S&P has moved up or down an average of 0.8% during the same time.

Investors should hold on tight into Friday trading. Options markets imply Rivian stock move, up or down, about 10% after earnings.

Bulls hope the direction will be up. They could use a break. After strong performance out of the gate, Rivian shares are down about 38% from their 52—week high of almost $180 a share.

Write to Al Root at [email protected]

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