Rivian (RIVN) Q1 results – revenue beat, earnings miss, Q4 profit reaffirmed

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Rivian has released its Q1 2024 results, slightly beating analyst estimates on revenue, which grew sharply year-over-year, but with wider losses than expected and only slight gross margin improvement as it still hopes to turn some quarterly profit by the end of the year.

Electric truck maker Rivian announced its results after the bell today, capping off a quarter that has seen difficulty for some EV makers.

Rivian previously announced that deliveries remained flat between Q4 and Q1 at 13,588 units, but were up 71% since the same quarter last year. Rivian says it achieved 5.1% market share in US EVs in Q1, quite a feat for a company that sells only upmarket vehicles, with the R1S being the best-selling EV over $70k

Q1 tends to be a down quarter for vehicle deliveries, so year-over-year numbers are often used – though with EV makers experiencing rapid growth, quarterly numbers can still be useful.

Analysts estimated that Rivian would bring in $1.175 billion in revenue this quarter, with a loss of $1.15 per share.

Rivian’s actual results, announced today, show that it beat the analysts with $1.204 billion in revenue, but had wider losses than expected at -$1.48 per share. Revenue improved by 82% year-over-year. Rivian ended the quarter with $7,858 billion in cash, down from $9,368 billion at the end of Q4 2023.

Gross margin on vehicles improved slightly, with a loss of $38,784 per vehicle as opposed to $43,372 per vehicle in the previous quarter. The gross margin improvement shows progress, but gross margins are still worse than they were in Q2 and Q3 of last year, at -$32k and -$30k respectively.

However, Rivian has just completed a plant shutdown, which started on April 5, and thus isn’t captured in this quarter’s results. The plant reopened on May 1.

This shutdown was focused on retooling to improve margins, and Rivian says it could increase efficiency by 30%. Rivian sees “significant progress” on cost optimization already, and says that it expects slight positive gross profit in Q4 of this year. We’ll expect to hear more about how the shutdown went on the company’s earnings call at 2PM PDT/5PM EDT today.

It’s also the first earnings call since Rivian’s R2/R3 unveiling event. These are Rivian’s two upcoming vehicles, with which it plans to move downmarket and into higher volume spaces. The R2 will start around $45k in the first half of 2026, while the R3 timeline and cost have not yet been announced.

Along with that event, Rivian announced that it would move production forward for the R2, by building it at its existing plant in Normal, IL, rather than a planned future plant in Georgia. This will bring Normal’s production numbers up to 215k units of total capacity per year across all products.

The main reason for this is to reduce capex in the short-term by $2.25 billion, saving the company cash in a time where fundraising is more difficult than it has been in the past. Rivian also recently cut 1% of jobs in service of these cost savings.

As part of today’s release, Rivian also reduced capex guidance for 2024 to $1.2 billion, down from $1.75 billion. It expects to save money in 2025 and 2026 from the decision to move R2 production to Normal, as well.

Otherwise, Rivian reaffirmed its 2024 guidance of 57,000 units production and a $2.7 billion loss, though it expects slight gross profit in Q4.

Rivian (RIVN) closed down 0.77% today, after opening high in response to rumors about a partnership with Apple, but giving back the gains throughout the day. RIVN is currently down 2-3% in aftermarket trading as we await the earnings call, where we expect a question (and likely non-answer) about the Apple rumors.

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