Nikola Corp. is strapped for cash.
The Phoenix-based electric-truck company is losing upward of $150 million per quarter and holds about $150 million in cash and receivables on its balance sheet.
The company can raise up to $500 million going forward through existing credit and loan agreements. It could also borrow against its buildings and other assets to raise funds, Anastasiya Pasterick, the company's recently appointed CFO said Tuesday during the company's first-quarter earnings call.
"I remain cautiously optimistic," said Pasterick about Nikola's access to capital markets.
Nikola is retooling its strategy. Executives said they'll refocus operations in North America with an emphasis on fuel cell trucks and a nascent hydrogen refueling business, HYLA.
The company has also ended a joint venture with Italy's Iveco Group to build battery-electric trucks in Europe. Nikola will sell its stake in Iveco back to the company for $35 million. Iveco will also purchase 20 million shares of Nikola.
Nikola lost $169 million, or 31 cents per share in the first quarter of 2023, a little more than the $152.9 million the company lost in the first quarter last year. But the company's 2023 first-quarter revenues reached $11.1 million, up from $1.88 million year over year.
Pasterick said she wanted to get the company's per-quarter cash burn below $100 million. About half of Nikola's spending can be attributed to ramping up production of fuel cells, she said.
In a related development that emerged Wednesday, Nikola said it wants to raise additional funds through the issuance of additional capital stock, which may dilute the company’s stock price.
Nikola closed at 86 cents per share on Tuesday and opened at 83 cents per unit on May 10. Over the past year Nikola shares have declined 85 percent. At this time last year, Nikola traded at $5.57 per share.
In a video sent to shareholders, Lohscheller appealed to their concern for the environment and urged them to vote for a proxy proposal that would double Nikola shares available for purchase to 1.6 billion from 800 million.
“Nikola is in a capital intensive energy and transportation business. Trucks and fueling stations are expensive,” Lohscheller said. “Our goal is to change the way the world transports goods so we aren’t damaging our planet.”
The deadline for shareholders to vote for or against to proposal is June 6 at 11:59 p.m. EDT.