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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights Volkswagen, BMW AG, XPeng and Blink Charging

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – March 21, 2023 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include: Volkswagen VWAGY, BMW AG BAMXF, XPeng Inc. XPEV and Blink Charging BLNK.

Here are highlights from Monday’s Analyst Blog:

EV Roundup: Euro, Chinese Automakers Making the Most Noise

Last week, the Biden administration announced $2.5 billion in new grants to speed up the creation of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations and alternative fueling infrastructure in underserved neighborhoods and communities. Dubbed the Charging and Fueling Infrastructure grant program, the funding will spur Biden's goal of establishing a network of 500,000 public EV charging stations across the country by 2030 in an attempt to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% by the decade's end.

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The $2.5-billion fresh funding will be doled out over a period of five years and will be split evenly into two parts. It comprises a $1.25-billion Community Program, which aims at building chargers for underserved locations in cities and communities. The other $1.25-billion Corridor Program will seek to establish alternative fuel corridors for gasoline-free cross-country travel and long-haul trucking.

The $2.5-billion funding builds on $5 billion already earmarked for the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure program to establish a nationwide network of EV chargers, specifically along highways.

On the news front, Volkswagen is focused on revving up its electrification game. The Germany-based auto giant is geared to launch the latest models to further improve battery electric vehicle (BEV) share in overall deliveries this year. With its new lineup and a strong order book of 1.8 million vehicles, Volkswagen is well-positioned to deliver strong growth.

The company's close peer, BMW AG, is also taking big electrification strides. It anticipates new models and BEVs' rollout to expand the EBIT margin and slightly increase deliveries for 2023. Meanwhile, China-based EV maker XPeng Inc. posted the fourth-quarter 2022 results. The firm's revenues dropped 40% year over year amid weak deliveries. Meanwhile, charging solutions provider Blink Charging also made it to the headlines, as it got is selected by the United States Postal Service ("USPS") to secure EV charging stations and network services for its expanding EV Fleet.

VWAGY and BMW currently carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), and BLNK has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). XPEV carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Inside the Headlines

Volkswagen announced plans to invest EUR 180 billion in 2023-2027. More than 68% of this investment will be contributed toward notching up its digitization and electrification capabilities. By 2025, out of every five vehicles sold, one is expected to be all electric. The investment is expected to peak in 2025 and may start declining thereafter.The auto manufacturer's BEV share stood at 7% in the last reported year and with its new model launches, the BEV share is expected to reach 10% of total deliveries in 2023. The new models scheduled for 2023 are the ID.7, ID.3, ID. Buzz Long Wheel Base, Audi Q8 e-tron and CUPRA Tavascan.

With the commencement of ID.4 production in the Chattanooga plant and plans to start deliveries of its iconic Scout brand by 2026, the manufacturer has strengthened its leadership team in the United States.VWAGY acquired a 4% vehicle market share in the North America market and targets to increase the share to 10% by the end of 2030. This will be mostly driven by the rollout of the ID. Buzz and ID.7 in 2024.

Volkswagen is a market leader in the BEV segment in Europe and is strengthening its presence in China with robust demand for its e-model range. With the introduction of cross-brand China boards, the decision-making and development process is set to accelerate, optimizing synergies between brands. The company's partnership with Horizon Robotics will expedite the development of driver assistance systems and automated driving in China. Moreover, Volkswagen aims to fulfill the needs of local customers by introducing smart and comfortable travel experiences, for which it has established CARIAD China to speed up the research & development (R&D) process.

BMW expects 2023 deliveries to be slightly higher and its EBIT margin between 8 and 10%, ahead of the rollout of its latest electric fleet this year.The rollout of the latest premium models and BEVs is expected to be the dominant growth driver for BMW. By 2026, BMW expects one in every three cars sold to be all electric. By 2030, it expects 50% of the cars sold to be all electric. For 2023, the company plans to increase its BEV share to 15%.

By 2025, the carmaker plans to deliver 2 million fully electric vehicles and by 2030, the number of deliveries will increase to 10 million. The first electric vehicles of BMW's MINI brand are scheduled to enter the market this year. The company is planning to invest $1.7 billion in its U.S. operations to develop auto vehicles and batteries.

Earlier this year, the company introduced a fleet of hydrogen vehicles. It envisions starting production in the second half of the decade. Chief executive, Oliver Zipse, said, "We see hydrogen-electric vehicles as a meaningful complement to e-mobility, even with something of a time lag." The automaker has also started testing its Hydrogen vehicle, which comes with a range of 500 kilometers and has the capability to refuel in 3-4 minutes, in different countries.

XPeng reported the fourth-quarter 2022 loss per American Depositary Share (ADS) of 37 cents, narrower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 39 cents. The company posted revenues of $0.75 billion, down 40% year over year due to lower deliveries. XPEV delivered 22,204 vehicles in the fourth quarter of 2022, implying a 46.8% year-over-year contraction. Revenues generated from vehicle sales amounted to $0.68 billion, representing a 43.1% decline from the corresponding quarter of 2021. Revenues from Services and Others amounted to $0.07 million, up 30% from the year-ago period.

The vehicle margin for the reported quarter was 5.7% compared with the year-ago period's 10.9%. The gross margin was 8.7%, down from 12% in fourth-quarter 2021. R&D, and selling, general & administrative costs were $0.18 billion and $0.25 billion, reflecting year-over-year declines of 15.3% and 13%, respectively. Cash and cash equivalents totaled $2,117.9 million as of Dec 31, 2022. Long-term debt was $668.3 million. XPeng expects first-quarter 2023 deliveries of 18,000-19,000 vehicles, signaling a year-over-year uptick of 45-47.9%. Revenues are envisioned to be RMB 4-4.2 billion, indicating a year-over-year decrease of 43.7-46.3%.

Blink Charging received an IDIQ contract from U.S. Postal Services to sell nearly 41,500 electric vehicle charging units. These charging units will support USPS's EV charging infrastructure. Blink will sell its Series 7 dual-port charger to USPS. The charger comes with 80 amps of power at each port that allows two vehicles to charge parallelly on the Universal J1772 connector at 19.2kW. Blink's NEMA 3R enclosure allows flexible installation and with its wall or pedestal mounting options, its compact form factor allows for ideal placement. The standard 18-foot charging cable allows greater flexibility for postal locations.

In another development, BLNK unveiled its revamped Blink mobile charger. This new portable charger will provide emergency charging solutions for stranded EVs. The Blink mobile charger is faster and charges an EV with up to 0.5 to 1 mile of range per minute. The mobile charger has Wi-Fi connectivity and is compatible with all EVs and Level 2 fleet vehicles.

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit https://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

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