- Nikola, an upstart electric-vehicle maker that’s worth $10 billion, released its first quarterly financial report this week.
- The results largely disappointed investors and sent shares tumbling.
- The company is pre-revenue, and working on multiple upcoming vehicle models, but did manage to bring in $36,000.
- Buried in a regulatory filing, Nikola revealed that money was from installing solar panels for its founder, Trevor Milton.
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Investors were largely disappointed by electric-vehicle startup Rivian’s first earnings announcement this week.
The company, which went public in June via a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (or SPAC), has yet to sell a production vehicle despite soaring stock valuations as the electric vehicle race further ignites. And buried in a regulatory filing the same day was another detail: where its $36,000 in revenue came from.
Turns out it was all from installing solar panels bought by founder and executive chairman Trevor Milton.
“During the three months ended June 30, 2020 and 2019 the Company recorded solar revenues of $0.03 million and $0.04 million, respectively, for the provision of solar installation services to the Executive Chairman, which are billed on time and materials basis,” the filing, first spotted by the Financial Times and CNBC, says.
The company also disclosed a $70,000 reimbursement for Milton’s use of a private plane for company business. “These flight hours are related to business travel by the Executive Chairman and other members of the executive team to business meetings and trade conferences, as well as the Executive Chairman’s commute between the Company’s headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona, and his residence in Utah.”
Milton, who shifted from chief executive to the chairman role in recent months and remains the company’s largest shareholder, has garnered a reputation for his outspoken Twitter presence that’s not unlike his counterpart at Tesla, Elon Musk.
“It’s a bit confusing trying to follow Trevor on his various social media outlets about the timing and cadence of communication of the different variables that you’re talking about,” one analyst remarked on a conference call.
—Trevor Milton (@nikolatrevor)
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