Shares in Rivian Automotive Inc. bounced in late trading today after the electric vehicle maker reported better-than-expected earnings and reduced its guidance for capital expenditures this year.

For the quarter that ended Sept. 30, Rivian reported a loss before costs such as stock compensation of $1.57 per share, down from an adjusted loss of $7.69 per share in the same quarter of 2021. Revenue came in at $536 million, up from $1 million last year before Rivian started selling cars. Analysts had expected a loss of $1.82 per share on revenue of $551.6 million.

Rivian’s net loss in the quarter came in at $1.72 million, up from $1.23 billion in the third quarter of last year. As of the end of the quarter, the company had $13.8 billion in cash and equivalents on hand.

The company also confirmed it’s on track to produce 25,000 vehicles in 2022. Vehicle production was up 67% from the previous quarter, though it needs added capacity because as of Nov. 7, Rivian has more than 114,000 preorders for its R1 vehicle (pictured) in the U.S. and Canada. The R1 number does not include the order for 100,000 electric delivery vehicles Rivian also has on its books from Amazon.com Inc.

All that said, the company still has a long way to go, having so far produced only about 15,000 vehicles in total since it began manufacturing, with 7,363 vehicles produced in the third quarter and 6,584 delivered. While Rivian continues to ramp up production — its Illinois factory has added a second shift of workers — the company is also looking to slow spending. It said it has delayed the launch of its smaller vehicle, the R2, to 2026 rather than 2025 as previously planned.

Rivian’s efforts to ramp up production have had problems. Automotive News reported that the lack of a vehicle component caused five days of production line downtime in October and November. Although it didn’t name the part, Rivian claimed that it was working with the supplier of the component to address supply issues.

Looking forward, Rivian said it’s still on track for a $5.45 billion adjusted loss in 2022, the outlook given in its second-quarter earnings. However, the outlook for capital expenditures was cut to $1.75 billion for the year versus the previous forecast of $2 billion as a result of Rivian streamlining its product roadmap and shifting certain capital expenditures to 2023.

Rivian is a company still burning money, with a long way to go to deliver on its promises, but investors liked the lower loss and its efforts to cut costs. Rivian shares rose almost 7% after-hours.

Photo: Rivian

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