If you’re a spiritually-minded person perhaps you can send up thoughts and prayers for people who own Workhorse Group (NYSE:WKHS) stock.
The company has limited revenue and even more limited prospects for the same.
It faces scalability concerns in a sector with growing competition, and yet there are diamond hands within the retail sector that are committed to waiting on WKHS stock.
The reason is simple. As of this writing, short interest in WKHS stock remains around 30%. This will likely be the fuel that will keep moving shares higher.
Sure enough on Monday, June 7, Workhorse stock was up over 5% in late-day trading, it continues pushing up and has added 17 percent in the last five days.
Undoubtedly many retail investors are trying to band together and force a short squeeze on WKHS stock. A year ago, I would have said that’s an unconventional way to make money in the market. Today, it’s par for the course if you have the proper risk tolerance.
If you fall in that category, you don’t need to keep reading. You know what you’re doing. But if you’re on the outside looking in at WKHS stock, allow me a few minutes to dispel you of that notion.
So You’re Saying There’s a Chance
WKHS stock took a beating after the federal government’s decision to award its contract for the United States Postal Service (USPS) to the Wisconsin-based truck manufacturer Oshkosh (NYSE:OSK). If that was the end of the story, there wouldn’t even be a glimmer of hope for Workhorse.
The devil, though, is in the details. In this case, there seem to be two arguments that Workhorse bulls are hanging their hats on.
The first has to do with Oshkosh’s ability to manufacture electric vehicles. Workhorse claims that the Wisconsin-based manufacturer will only be able to deliver low-emission fossil fuel vehicles. As you would expect, Oshkosh is denying this claim.
The second argument, which is justifiably more bullish, has to do with the language of the contract itself. Apparently, only 10% of the contract was devoted to electric vehicles.
The Postmaster General Louis Dejoy informed the House Appropriation Committee that if they would provide more “resources” (i.e. money), the USPS would buy more EVs.
Workhorse has the backing of several influential Congressional leaders making it a likely beneficiary of some or all of these new EVs.
However, that approximately $8 billion in new funding is undoubtedly tied up in the administration’s infrastructure bill. While it seems likely that the bill will make it to a House vote in some fashion; it remains unclear what line items will remain intact.
But until the final status of this contract is rendered, there is a glimmer of hope for WKHS stock.
My InvestorPlace colleague Joel Baglole shares my bearish sentiment on WKHS stock. As Baglole wrote recently even within its niche of electric delivery vehicles, Workhorse faces significant competition.
“The company also faces plenty of competition in the market for electric delivery vehicles as other start-ups such as Rivian and Canoo (NASDAQ:GOEV), as well as automotive giants such as Ford (NYSE:F) and General Motors (NYSE:GM) push into the space,” he wrote.
Leave WKHS Stock to the Speculators
I’ve come to have a grudging admiration for the dedicated Reddit traders. They have found a way to turn a lot of lemons into lemonade. While that may not be as much of a miracle as changing water into wine, it’s a distinct discipline.
There is a tantalizing opportunity with a stock like Workhorse. Traders just need a little good news to make a lot of money. If I close one eye and squint, I understand the hope that arises from a look at the company’s fundamentals.
At the end of March, WKHS had a little more than $200 million on its balance sheet, but the company is still generating negative free cash flow. Without the injection of revenue from the USPS, there’s little reason to believe the forecast will improve significantly.
That makes further share dilution a realistic possibility. That’s not the fashionable narrative, but it appears to be the most likely outcome.
On the date of publication, Chris Markoch did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.
Chris Markoch is a freelance financial copywriter who has been covering the market for seven years. He has been writing for Investor Place since 2019.