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Why Shares of Fisker and Lion Electric Are Soaring but The Metals Company Is Plunging

Motley Fool - Mon Jul 17, 2023

What happened

Electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers Fisker(NYSE: FSR) and LionElectric(NYSE: LEV) both announced news that gave investors reasons to cheer at the start of the new trading week. EV battery maker TheMetalsCompany(NASDAQ: TMC), however, had nothing positive to report. Instead, investors in that stock are reacting to a growing number of voices raising concerns about deep sea mining, including a U.S. politician who introduced legislation to halt the advancement of deep sea mining activity.

As of 12:14 p.m. ET Monday, shares of Fisker were up 3.9%, giving back some of their 6% gain from earlier in the trading session. Lion Electric was up 9%, retreating from an earlier rise of 16%. But The Metals Company had plummeted by 13.7%.

So what

Having commenced deliveries to customers in Europe and the United States, Fisker plans on entering a new market: India. The company announced today that it's producing 100 Fisker Extreme Vigyan Edition all-electric SUVs for customers in India. Delivery of the vehicles is expected to occur in the fourth quarter.

According to the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association, India is the fourth-largest automotive market worldwide behind China, the U.S., and the European Union.

Fortifying its financial position, Lion Electric reported that it has entered into several financial transactions that will provide the company with about $142 million in gross proceeds. In addition to the private placement of 13% senior unsecured convertible notes, Lion Electric raised capital through the private placement of 11% senior secured non-convertible notes, and the issuance of warrants to the holders of the non-convertible notes. The warrants provide the holders with the opportunity to purchase a total of 22,500,000 common shares at an exercise price of 2.81 Canadian dollars per share.

Lion Electric's cash position had dwindled from $88.3 million at the end of Q4 2022 to $36 million at the end of Q1 2023.

With regards to The Metals Company, politicians and environmentalists continue to raise warnings about deep sea mining, and the International Seabed Authority (ISA) is meeting in Jamaica through July 21. Established by the United Nations, the ISA is currently discussing possible regulations related to deep sea mining.

Last week, U.S. Rep.Ed Case (D-Hawaii) introduced legislation that calls for a moratorium on deep sea mining until further examination of the potential environmental consequences is conducted. "Seabed mining could take a number of destructive forms, including methods which would shear off seamounts on the ocean floor, the functional equivalent of strip mining," Case said.

Just days later, an article in the scientific journal Nature pointed to the potential environmental damage of deep sea mining activity, referencing an article published in Current Biology that examined how that activity adversely affects the animals living in areas where it occurs.

The Metals Company plans to mine mineral formations on the seafloor known as polymetallic nodules for nickel, cobalt, copper, and manganese -- metals vital for battery production.

Now what

While the meager 100 vehicles that Fisker plans on delivering in India won't move the needle for the company, investors are surely interested in its ambition to enter a major new market. Should the production and delivery of those vehicles go well, it will be interesting to see if the company makes a larger push into India, an endeavor that could help the electric vehicle start-up grow considerably.

Similarly, it's unsurprising that investors are celebrating Lion Electric's success in raising some much-needed capital. Those interested in hitching a ride with Lion Electric, however, may want to wait until they can see its Q2 report to get a more complete view of its financial well-being.

Granted, political opposition to the business plan of The Metals Company is growing, but there are plenty of advocates for deep sea mining as well. At this point, the most important thing investors should focus on with The Metals Company is what the ISA determines at its meeting -- results that should be known in the next few weeks.

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Scott Levine has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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