U.S. listed shares of XPeng jumped in premarket trading Monday after the Chinese electric-vehicle maker reported a fourth-quarter loss that was narrower than Wall Street had expected.
XPeng said that it lost $202 million in the quarter, or $0.22 on an adjusted per-share basis, on revenue of $1.34 billion. That was significantly better than expected: Seven Wall Street analysts polled by FactSet had expected an adjusted loss of $0.33 per share, on average.
The gross profit margin on XPeng’s vehicle business, a number that is widely watched by analysts, fell to 10.9% in the fourth quarter from 13.6% in the third quarter on higher costs related to supply chain issues and rising commodity prices. But as CEO He Xiaopeng noted during a call for analysts Monday morning, that was still a significant improvement over the 3.5% vehicle margin the company posted in the fourth quarter of 2020.
Like most automakers, XPeng had to navigate production disruptions due to ongoing supply chain challenges — in particular, a global shortage of semiconductor chips — several times during 2021. Those disruptions kept XPeng’s sleek EVs in relatively short supply amid high demand, giving the company some added pricing power to help cushion the impact of the rising costs.
Xiaopeng said that the company is working to further ramp up production further in 2022. XPeng hopes to soon deliver more than 10,000 of its flagship P7 sedans in a single month, he said, and he expects its new P5 sedan to reach similar production numbers later this year.
XPeng delivered 60,569 P7s in 2021. Deliveries of the P5, which went into production during the fourth quarter, totaled 7,865 last year.
Xiaopeng also said the company’s next new model, an upscale electric SUV called the G9, is on track to enter production in the third quarter of 2022. He said that he expects the G9′s performance to be “head and shoulders” above Chinese-made rivals, and that it has the potential to be a “blockbuster” hit for the company.
Two more new models, built on a new vehicle architecture, will follow in 2023, he said.
The company expects to deliver between 33,500 and 34,000 vehicles in total this quarter, representing growth of more than 150% versus the first quarter of 2021.
That guidance suggests a strong March for the company. XPeng delivered a total of 19,147 vehicles in January and February, a period that included several days of factory downtime during China’s Lunar New Year holiday.