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What happened

Shares of California-based electric-vehicle start-up Fisker (NYSE:FSR) were trading sharply higher on Friday after an influential Wall Street analyst initiated coverage of the company with a bullish note.

At 11:00 a.m. EST, Fisker’s shares were up about 26.3% from Thursday’s closing price.

So what 

In a note released after the U.S. markets closed on Thursday, Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas initiated coverage of Fisker with an overweight rating and a price target of $27. 

Jonas, who is well known to electric-vehicle investors for his bullish coverage of Tesla and other names, likes Fisker’s design-focused, “asset-light” business model. As Jonas sees it, the model will improve time to market and — because Fisker doesn’t need to build and maintain a factory — lower the company’s break-even point. 

Fisker expects to begin deliveries of its first electric vehicle, the Ocean SUV, in 2022. Image source: Fisker, Inc.

Jonas thinks that Fisker stands out among electric-vehicle start-ups for its lower level of risk and well-thought-out strategy. 

Now what

Here’s what Jonas is getting at. Fisker’s founder, Henrik Fisker, is an auto designer by trade, with a portfolio of great-looking upscale vehicles to his credit. As you’d expect, the company’s first vehicle, the Ocean electric SUV, has a striking, attractive design. And rather than building its own factory, which could cost $1 billion or more up front, Fisker has contracted with a unit of auto supplier Magna International (NYSE:MGA) to build the Ocean and its other upcoming models.

I agree with Jonas that as electric-vehicle stocks go, Fisker — while still speculative — does seem like a good bet to execute. (Full disclosure: I own a small position in Fisker.) 

Auto investors can look forward to an update when Fisker reports its fourth-quarter and full-year 2020 results after the U.S. markets close on Thursday, Feb. 25.