Shares of Rivian Automotive (RIVN -0.68%) fell as much as 19.1% this week, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. The electric vehicle (EV) start-up got a hangover from a recent partnership announcement and is likely getting hammered by recent inflation data and interest rate adjustments by the Federal Reserve. As of 1:05 p.m. ET on Friday, the stock is down 14.7% this week.
Last week, Rivian announced a partnership with Mercedes to produce EV vans under a combination of the Rivian and Mercedes brands. The companies are starting a joint venture factory in Europe, but the timeline and size of the manufacturing deal are unclear at this moment. When news of the deal came through earlier this month, Rivian shares soared 20%. This created a tough comparison for shares this week, and once this short-term pop ended, Rivian shares came back down to earth.
Rivian is also getting hit along with virtually every other stock right now. The market is taking a beating this week, down around 5% or so in the last five trading days. Why? A confluence of reasons. But the biggest is the Federal Reserve’s decision to raise interest rates by 75 basis points yet again to help fight inflation. When interest rates rise, it is generally tougher for businesses to secure financing to grow their operations. This makes investors especially nervous about companies like Rivian that have minimal revenue and are still in the early stages of growth.
For Rivian, the good thing is that regardless of where interest rates go, the company has a secure financial position. During the peak of the bull market in 2021, the company raised nearly $12 billion when it went public. Today, it has almost $15 billion in cash on its balance sheet, which should give it multiple years of runway as it looks to build out its EV manufacturing capabilities.
On top of this cash pile, Rivian is in a nice spot because Amazon — another one of its early partners — has committed to buying 100,000 of its EV vans to power its delivery fleet. This early customer should give Rivian a demand floor and makes it less risky to invest in a company that has barely started selling vehicles. With the stock down, a huge cash pile, and partnerships with Amazon and Mercedes, now could be the time to buy Rivian stock if you are interested in the EV market.
John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Brett Schafer has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Amazon. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.