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Lilium: call option on flying taxis (NASDAQ: LILM)

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The flying taxi market received very notable orders from the airline sector, however most shares didn’t rebound this 12 months. Lilium S.A. (NASDAQ: LILM) is a notable laggard with the inventory trades at a worth that’s extra like a inventory choice with a binary end result. My funding thesis nonetheless stays impartial on this inventory because of the restricted order guide and a decrease profile than rivals within the house.

Queuing for small orders

Lilium is likely one of the few public eVTOL producers that has not introduced a current order or funding from a significant worldwide airline. The corporate introduced a number of smaller offers, however nothing with rivals’ over 100 plane volumes, plus investments and deposits.

The European firm possible has an obstacle in competing for orders from US airways in comparison with US corporations listed on US inventory exchanges. The corporate accomplished the next small transactions over the last quarter:

  • September 29 – GlobeAir intends to purchase 12 jets for the French Riviera and Italy.
  • July 20 – Helity Copter Airways intends to buy 5 jets to supply enterprise constitution flights in southern Spain.
  • July 19 – AAP Aviation Group intends to buy 40 jets for service in Scandinavia.
  • July 18 – ASL Group intends to purchase 6 jets for Belgium.
  • July 17 – Bristow Group (VTOL) intends to buy 50 jets for Florida.

These offers aren’t many individually, however they add as much as greater than 100 future jet orders. A various pre-order backlog leaves the corporate much less uncovered to the danger of a significant airline fully canceling an enormous order. Do not forget that home airways haven’t got the steadiness sheets for aggressive investments in a brand new enterprise.

Plus, Lilium already has some huge enterprise with NetJets and Azul (AZUL). In complete, the eVTOL maker has practically 500 pre-orders ready to transform to precise orders with installments subsequent 12 months.

Partner Slide

Supply: Letter to Lilium shareholders Q2’22

The quantity will not be as spectacular as some rivals, however the satan is within the particulars of those orders. Lilium expects to start aligning agency orders with massive deposits subsequent 12 months. Many pre-order particulars will begin to matter in direction of the top of 2023 and into 2024 when eVTOL plane start to realize certifications and start manufacturing.

Much like Joby Aviation (JOBY), Lilium plans to construct an inner city air mobility community with an preliminary deal with Florida and Germany. The corporate solely anticipated 1,000 jets in service by 2027, so the 2022 backlog is massive sufficient for Lilium to fulfill its 5-year targets.

Different rivals are definitely build up far more spectacular order books. Buyers will need to observe developments within the sector each Vertical aeronautics (EVTL) and Eve holding (EVEX) with backlogs of roughly $6 billion.

Moreover, the corporate is exclusive in planning to supply a bigger configurable jet with plans to finally construct a 16-seater to accompany the unique 7-seater whereas different producers are specializing in 2-4 seaters. Lilium focuses extra on regional transport than on the commuter market of different flying taxi providers.

name choice

The inventory is down to simply $1.60 now after going public through a $10 SPAC deal. The corporate has seen the money stage drop to €229m and expects to spend round €250m in 2022 alone with a present quarterly money spend stage of €63m. Lilium has a $75 million line of credit score with Tumin Stone Capital to fund operations via 2023, the place “hopefully” some deposits for plane orders will start to supply extra cash to fund the event.

Requested concerning the money place through the Q2’22 earnings name, CFO Geoff Richardson had this to say about Lilium’s place:

I feel transferring to Premium and specializing in gross sales additionally results in deposits. And I feel with deposits and money stream, that opens up alternatives for specialty lending. So we anticipate that will likely be a part of the combo going ahead, Alex. Clearly the markets are fairly unstable at this time however we had been fortunate to have constructed the guide with the type of lengthy methods and we’re very assured between PDPs between future potential and fairness alternatives together with the ELOC that we’ll be capable to prolong the money path.

The corporate didn’t present a strong reply as as to if the deposits will present an enormous money bridge to fund operations till plane gross sales happen. Lack of capital to fund operations and the inventory beneath $2 will not be a perfect situation for shareholders.

Lilium is principally a name choice right here. Lilium has a minimal inventory valuation of round $500 million now, which is not a lot for a corporation that forecasts billions in fast-growing income by 2025.


The primary takeaway from buyers is that the flying taxi corporations of the long run have quite a lot of attraction. The issue with Lilium is an absence of capital to fund operations with out further capital transactions.

As soon as the money place is resolved, the inventory may turn into an enormous purchase with Lilium shot down and the corporate going through a significant alternative sooner or later $1 trillion city air mobility enterprise.

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