China’s Li Auto Sinks After First-Quarter Profit Drop, Revenue Miss
Xu Wei
DATE:  May 21 2024
/ SOURCE:  Yicai
China’s Li Auto Sinks After First-Quarter Profit Drop, Revenue Miss China’s Li Auto Sinks After First-Quarter Profit Drop, Revenue Miss

(Yicai) May 21 -- Li Auto’s shares tumbled after the Chinese electric car startup reported a 37 percent decline in net profit and worse-than-expected revenue for the first quarter because of higher operating expenses and a vehicle delivery shortfall.

Li Auto [HKG: 2015] ended 19.3 percent lower at HKD80.65 (USD10.34) a share in Hong Kong today. Its New York-listed stock [NASDAQ: LI] sank 12.8 percent at USD21.71 yesterday. 

Net profit was CNY590 million (USD81.5 million) in the three months ended March 31, down 90 percent on the prior quarter, the Beijing-based carmaker said in an earnings report yesterday. It attributed the profit to net interest and investment income of CNY1.1 billion (USD152.1 million).

Li Auto had an operating loss of CNY580 million in the quarter. The company, which was the only profitable Chinese new energy vehicle startup, had reported an operating profit for four straight quarters previously, with its operating income mainly coming from sales. 

Revenue came in at CNY25.6 billion (USD3.5 billion), up 36 percent from a year earlier, but down 39 percent on the fourth quarter of last year. That compared with its CNY31.3 billion and CNY32.2 billion prediction.

Sales rose 32 percent to CNY24.3 billion in the first quarter. But the figure was down 40 percent from the previous quarter, mainly impacted by seasonal factors related to the Chinese New Year holiday and a decline in deliveries due to fewer-than-expected orders in March, the firm pointed out.

Deliveries surged 53 percent to around 80,000 cars last quarter from a year ago, but tumbled 39 percent from the prior quarter, it said. During its 2023 earnings conference call, Li Auto had forecast deliveries of between 100,000 and 103,000 units in the period before lowering that to between 76,000 and 78,000 soon after.

Li Auto predicted that it will likely deliver 105,000 to 110,000 cars this quarter, up between 21 percent and 27 percent from a year ago. Operating profit will climb between 4.2 percent and 9.4 percent to CNY29.9 billion to CNY31.4 billion, it added.

Editor: Martin Kadiev

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Keywords:   Li Auto,NEVs,Financial Statements