By Ed Ludlow | Bloomberg

Irvine-based Rivian Automotive built and delivered more electric vehicles last quarter than Wall Street expected, though it stood by its 2024 output target of about 57,000 units.

The results and unchanged full-year outlook failed to soothe investor concerns about the EV market. Rivian shares fell 4.6% at 12:02 p.m. in New York, bringing year-to-date losses to about 55%.

Also see: Irvine EV maker Rivian pauses Georgia factory, debuts R2 and R3 prototype

The company made 13,980 EVs in the first three months of the year and handed over 13,588 to customers, according to a statement Tuesday. The production figures compared with analysts’ average estimates of 13,817. Deliveries also came in significantly above expectations.

Rivian said last month that it would halt work on its planned factory near Atlanta in order to accelerate the introduction of a new lower-priced R2 model targeting the mass market at its plant in Normal, Illinois. Bloomberg Intelligence’s Steve Man and Peter Lau said this means the stronger-than expected first-quarter shipments will likely not extend into the second quarter.

Truist analyst Jordan Levy wrote in a note to clients that Rivian’s near-term cash flow and longer-term capital needs means the company’s stock remain a hold.

More on EVs: Are sales declines in California just a blip or a long-term trend?

“We ultimately see shares remaining range bound until Rivian can demonstrate sustainable gross margin improvement coming out of the Normal shutdown,” he said.

But Stephanie Valdez Streaty, Cox Automotive’s director of industry insights, told Bloomberg TV that the unveiling of Rivian’s R2 “created a lot of energy for the brand.”

“The R2 will be critical for more affordable volumes and being able to turn a profit over the long term,” she said. “Rivian is on a good path.”

The EV maker has had a rocky start to the year, marked by job cuts, plans to keep output flat and a sharp decline in its market value.

One of the few pure-play EV makers chasing market leader Tesla, Rivian has stumbled in its efforts to scale up manufacturing since going public in 2021. The company makes three battery-powered models: a pickup and sport utility vehicle for consumers, and a commercial van for shareholder

Rivian had warned in February that deliveries would be down 10% to 15% in the first quarter from the prior three months. It also said production would be around 13,500 due to supply-chain changes and the introduction of new materials.

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