Citi Analyst reiterates NIO’s $87 Price target, keeps a Buy Rating after Earnings Results

Written by Cláudio Afonso |

Citi Analyst Jeff Chung reiterated this Friday NIO’s $87 price target while maintaining a Buy rating on the shares. The company released its Q4 and 2021 Earnings Report on Wednesday followed by the Conference Call hosted by CEO William Li and Steven Feng, NIO’s CFO. NIO had a total Revenue of $1.55B in Q4 2021 (an increase of 52.0% Year-over-Year) beating Wall Street expectations by $20M.

Credit: Unknown

Citi analyst Jeff Chung was one of the analysts present on the call and asked three questions:

Jeff Chung

I’ve got three questions. So number one is should we consider any MSRP hike in the near term to offset potential battery and aluminum cost hike? If yes, how and if no, why not? The second question is about the existing EC6 product sales volume visibility over the next few months. Any confidence we can maintain 10,000 units a month as well as the — could you give us more color on the ET7 ramp-up pace in the second quarter?

Last but not least is the lithium spot price in China. Do you think it has already peaked due to the recent government intervention? Thank you.


William Li

For the current ES8, ES6 and EC6 of course if we look at the digital [indiscernible] this is actually based on the NIO Technology Platform 1.0 which was developed in 2018. So for this chip the efficiency may be impaired if we run some complicated software.

So that’s why starting from this year we think this year we are going to upgrade to the smart hardware of our existing products. We are also going to provide after-sales upgrade services for users regarding the smart hardware upgrades. We are going to launch this program at an appropriate time. For the existing ES8, ES6 and EC6 we believe we do not need to adjust the pricing at this moment.

But of course based on the smart hardware upgrade of the existing products and also we are going to launch some model year product, then at that time we believe probably we can re-evaluate our pricing strategy based on the cost increase in the supply chain.

You have also asked about the performance of our current product, whether it should be able to still maintain the 10,000 units per month. According to our order momentum in March we believe that this can meet our expectations and we believe that user demand is not a problem for us because if we compare over current years ADS6 and EC6 with other ED products and ICE products in the market, we believe we still have a lot of competitive advantages so the overall demand momentum stays quite strong.”

Citi Research Note

“NIO reported stronger than expected Q4 vehicle margin, but its overall gross margin fell 3.1 points quarter-over-quarter due to a very high Q4 base effect with new electric vehicle credits income.” Jeff Chung believes investors will be looking for more detail on battery cost hike numbers and chip supply visibility comments in the analyst briefing. On November 2021, Chung had increased its price target on NIO shares from $70 to $87.


NIO’s CEO, William Li, said on the Earnings Note that the company expects to deliver a total of 25,000 to 26,000 vehicles in the first quarter of 2022. In January, NIO delivered 9,652 units and another 6,131 in February reaching a total of 15,783 vehicles. Based on the calculations, the company will deliver between 9,217 and 10,217 in March.

On Wednesday, the company announced that the first batch of NIO ET7 production vehicles was officially rolled off the production line at Hefei. “The car that everyone has been waiting for for a long time is coming soon” — NIO said. On March 18, our site revealed the photos of the first ET7 rolling off production being expected to have a 6 months delivery time, according to our local source. NIO started ET7 test drives on March 5th and will deliver the first units on March 28th.

On March 23, NIO’s Europe Vice-President was among the keynote speakers at the SMMT Electrified 2022 conference held in London, United Kingdom. Hui Zhang, that works for NIO since January 2016, enhanced the advantages of the Battery-as-a-Service.

According to a video posted on TikTok, NIO has thousands of models parked at NIO’s Hefei Factory, in China. The company has been keeping the secrets indoors without unveiling pre-orders numbers, test-drives scheduled, or other relevant numbers and JAC x NIO Factory is not an exception. The EV manufacturer will launch its new five-seater SUV in mid-April and will show it to the public at the 2022 Beijing Auto Show. The international automotive exhibition will take place at the China International Exhibition Center of Beijing from April 21st to April 30th.

Written by Cláudio Afonso |