Nikola Shares Power Up on J.P. Morgan Upgrade to Overweight

Nikola's stock looks attractive for long-term investors, J.P. Morgan says, upgrading the electric-vehicle maker to overweight.
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Nikola  (NKLA) - Get Report shares on Wednesday were charging ahead after J.P. Morgan upgraded the electric-vehicle maker to overweight from neutral.

Shares of the Phoenix company surged 12% to $45 at last check.

Analyst Paul Coster, who affirmed his price target at $45, said that after a 40% month-to-date decline in July, the stock is starting to look attractive for long-term investors ahead of a "number of potential positive catalysts in coming weeks and months." 

"NKLA is currently a story stock, but we are on board as long as the company executes to plan, and providing the stock offers a favorable risk-reward tradeoff," Coster said.

Coster said he expects a number of developments out of Nikola soon, including the announcement of a manufacturing partner for the Badger truck, a hydrogen-fuel station deployment plan for the U.K., and potentially faster implementation plans for the FuelCell Energy  (FCEL) - Get Report truck in the U.S.

Nikola's trading volumes are very high despite limited float at present, the analyst said. The stock movement is driven largely by short-term traders; inbound calls from institutional investors have been focused more on the warrants, he said.

Last month, J.P. Morgan initiated coverage of the company with a neutral rating and a price target of $45, saying "risks are elevated for this prerevenue company, and the stock looks fully valued here."

On Tuesday, RBC Capital analyst Joseph Spak initiated coverage of Nikola with a sector-perform rating and $46 price target. 

Spak cited what he called the company's unique fuel-cell electric vehicle bundled-lease business model. The model, he says, "captures more of value chain" as well as its "interesting" total addressable market. 

But Spak noted Nikola's execution and adoption risk in making the stock difficult to value.

Nikola recently announced the opening of $5,000 reservations for the company’s pickup truck.