Workhorse (NASDAQ:WKHS) investors saw their holdings dramatically increase in value starting about this time last year. WKHS stock went from under $3 apiece last May to a $41.34 close on Feb. 4. That is growth in the 1,300% range. This story had nothing to do with the pandemic. Instead, it was the prospect that the Cincinnati-based EV delivery van manufacturer might land a massive $6 billion USPS contract. Selling $6 billion worth of delivery vans for a company that booked just $377,000 in revenue the entire year before?
A Workhorse W-15 hybrid electric pickup truck on display at a branding event in Flatiron Plaza in New York.
No wonder Workhorse was on fire. But Workhorse lost that contract, kicking off a massive selloff.
However, meme investors started piling on WKHS stock when the company officially filed a protest to the USPS decision on Wednesday. That resulted in a 5.4% pop in WKHS stock. Those buying WKHS thinking the company is going to have that contract overturned are probably making a mistake. That being said, the USPS is not the only game in town and Workhorse has proven EV delivery vehicles.
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This is a ‘B’-rated Portfolio Grader stock with potential. For those who think long term, the current price of WKHS does make it tempting.
Background: Workhorse Loses USPS Contract, WKHS Stock Pummeled
Time for a quick bit of background, just in case you missed the incredible story behind Workhorse stock. Last spring, Workhorse was a company focused on battery-powered electric delivery vans. Its C650 and C1000 were designed for the last-mile delivery market.
Things got interesting when the USPS announced it would be taking bids to replace its fleet of 163,000 delivery vehicles. A March 2020 deadline to make a decision was extended to July. At that point, it was announced that Workhorse was one of the four remaining contenders for the $6 billion contract. And Workhorse was the only all-electric option. This was an even more important factor when the contract decision was extended again, and Joe Biden announced a push for made-in-America EV fleets.
Adding fuel to the fire, retailer investors turned WKHS into a meme stock through all this. So of course it turned in a quadruple-digit growth story.
Naturally, WKHS stock came crashing to the ground when the USPS chose a defense contractor over Workhorse. Along with the defeat came a shareholder lawsuit.
Update: Workhorse Takes USPS Decision to Court, WKHS Pops
The latest chapter in this story kicked off on Wednesday when Workhorse officially appealed the USPS decision. The move had been expected, but news it was happening resulted in a pop for WKHS stock. Retail investors are hoping for a win, but it seems unlikely.
Interviewed in Bloomberg, a legal expert explained USPS contract reviews usually favor the original winner, noting: “‘These internal dispute resolution processes don’t really bring the relief’ that contract losers seek.”
Focus on Long-Term Prospects
In May I wrote about the huge addressable market for Workhorse’s C650 and C1000. Yes, losing the USPS contract for 163,000 vehicles was a blow. However, over twice that many delivery vans are sold every year in the U.S. alone. Add the current mandate to eliminate emissions, and the market for Workhorse’s EV delivery vans is huge. Other customers are already making purchases and that will ramp up. That’s what investors should be looking at — not fixating on the USPS contract.
Bottom Line on WKHS Stock
Workhorse investors have had a heck of a ride over the past year, but the volatility has all been based around the USPS contract. The potential for a game-changing win, the rush for the exits when the contract was lost and now more hopefuls climbing on board on thee long chance of a successful appeal.
Factor all that out and you have a company with proven EV delivery options, signed customers and a huge addressable market. With WKHS stock down 65% from its February all-time high, it’s priced right for investors willing to hang on for the company to realize that long-term potential.
On the date of publication, neither Louis Navellier nor the InvestorPlace Research Staff member primarily responsible for this article held (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.
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