Loop Capital starts Nikola at Buy on ‘attractive’ intellectual property

Loop Capital analyst Jeffrey Kauffman initiated coverage of Nikola with a Buy rating and $35 price target. The stock closed Thursday up 3% to $26.23. The analyst says conversion from diesel internal combustion engine technology toward zero emissions vehicle solutions over the next decade is not a question of if, but when. While management may have “over-hyped” its capabilities following its public markets debut, Nikola possesses intellectual property that is “attractive to a number of partners,” and its vehicles will begin to hit the road with these partners over the next two years, Kauffman tells investors in a research note. The analyst adds that while Nikola’s strategic partnership with General Motors (GM) remains under negotiation, the company has successfully executed on partnerships with Nel, Bosch, Hanwah, Wabco and CNH. Following the stock’s recent retreat, Kauffman believes Nikola’s risk/reward is “better balanced” for new investors.