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Rivian (RIVN) COO Resigns Amid Production Challenges, Stock Falls (revised)

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Rivian Automotive Inc.'s (RIVN - Free Report) COO, Rod Copes, recently stepped down after being in the position since March 2020, further stretching a tumultuous phase for the electric vehicle (EV) maker. RIVN stock fell 5.3% to $77.16 a share at after-hours trading yesterday, following the announcement of the resignation. The price recorded was below its Initial Public Offering (IPO) value of $78.

Although RIVN completed the year’s biggest IPO in November 2021, it has been going through a rough patch. In December, it stated concerns of trailing behind its goal to build 1,200 units for the year by a few hundred vehicles. The COO’s departure comes at a critical juncture when the company is faced with challenges in the production ramp-up of its R1T and R1S EVs.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Copes had officially left Rivian in December 2021. RIVN stated that Copes’ departure was in a phased manner spanning several months to ensure that the continuous flow of duties and responsibilities among Rivian’s leadership team is not hampered.

In a positive development, Rivian filed a new trademark for bicycles and electric bikes as well as their corresponding structural parts. It is probably an indication that the company is watching for the e-bike domain and seeks to diversify its portfolio with a cheaper product to mass-produce than electric pickup trucks and in line with its targeted “adventure” seeking demographic.

Recently, RIVN also shared plans to use part of the $13.7 billion it had raised through its IPO to build a second factory in Georgia to double its production capacity and produce battery cells. The company’s first factory is in Illinois. Also, it has filed a patent for an integrated tailgate cargo system for automotive vehicles, which is essentially a tailgate bike rack that allows drivers to carry a bike in their pickup without losing bed space.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Currently, Rivian carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked players in the auto space are Genuine Parts (GPC - Free Report) , Tesla (TSLA - Free Report) and Fox Factory Holdings (FOXF - Free Report) , each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) currently. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Genuine Parts has an expected earnings growth rate of 27.3% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings for the current year has been revised around 2% upward over the past 60 days.

Genuine Parts’ earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in all the trailing four quarters. GPC pulled off a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 16%, on average. Its shares have also gained 31.3% over a year.

Fox Factory has an expected earnings growth rate of 48.2% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has been revised around 2% upward over the past 60 days.

Fox Factory’s bottom line beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in all the trailing four quarters. FOXF delivered a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of roughly 16%, on average. The stock has rallied 38.3% over a year.

Tesla has an expected earnings growth rate of 173.2% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current-year earnings has been revised around 7% upward over the past 60 days.

Tesla’s earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three of the trailing four quarters. TSLA pulled off a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 25.4%, on average. The stock has also rallied 30.4% over a year.

(NOTE: We are reissuing this article to correct an error. The original version, published earlier today, January 11, 2022, should no longer be relied on.)