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Why ChargePoint Stock Tumbled 27% in November

Motley Fool - Mon Dec 4, 2023

Shares of electric vehicle (EV) charging network operator ChargePoint (NYSE: CHPT) took a dive last month after the company reported disappointing third-quarter preliminary results, named a new CEO, and said that its CFO was stepping down.

The news added to the perception that ChargePoint is in disarray as a number of carmakers have adopted Tesla's North American Charging Standard (NACS) this year, forcing the company to adapt its chargers. As a result of the preliminary update and executive changes, the stock finished the month down 27%, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence.

As you can see from the chart below, the stock fell sharply in the middle of the month when that news came out, and it didn't recover.

CHPT Chart

CHPT data by YCharts

ChargePoint gets burned

Shares of ChargePoint fell 35.5% on Nov. 17 after it shared the preliminary report and other items with investors. It wasn't clear which was the most damaging for the stock, but they all spell trouble.

First, ChargePoint said it now expected third-quarter revenue of $108 million to $113 million, which compared to a previous target of $150 million to $165 million. The company also said it would take a noncash inventory impairment charge of $42 million in the quarter, and it lowered its pre-impairment gross margin target from between 22% and 25% to between 19% and 21%. Based on its operating expense guidance, the company expects an adjusted operating loss of around $60 million for the quarter.

The company also named former Chief Operating Officer Rick Wilmer as its new CEO, replacing Pasquale Romano, who had served as CEO since 2011. Wilmer will stay on as an advisor during the transition. It also said that CFO Rex Jackson was no longer with the company and it had named Mansi Khetani, who had been senior vice president of financial planning and analysis, as interim CFO while it searches for a permanent replacement.

What it means for ChargePoint

The sudden departure of a CFO can be a red flag, but with both the CEO and CFO stepping down at the same time, this seems to be an orchestrated change by the board of directors to breathe new life into the company.

Still, there doesn't seem to be an easy remedy for ChargePoint's problems as Wilmer said of the guidance cut, "Overall macroeconomic conditions, along with fleet and commercial vehicle delivery delays impacted anticipated deployments with government, auto dealership and workplace customers."

With signs that EV sales growth is slowing, ChargePoint could come under further pressure. Stay tuned for the full earnings report due on Dec. 6 from the EV stock, which is likely to shed more light on the company's position and Wilmer's plans for a turnaround.

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Jeremy Bowman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Tesla. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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