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One can say Joby Aviation (NYSE:JOBY) stock traded sideways for much of the past six months, but it has more-than-doubled in price since January. This “future of transportation” play may have a gradual liftoff in the coming year. Even if its performance is far less impressive in 2024 compared to 2023, that’s not necessarily a reason to stay away.
There’s a solid long-term bull case to be made for this stock, given its progress and the potential for eVTOLs to become a major mode of transportation over the next few decades. Read on, as I break down the current situation with this stock, and what may lie ahead.
JOBY Stock and its 2023 Performance
Going public in 2021, Joby Aviation had a bumpy ride in its first year-and-a-half as a publicly traded company. Yet from early-to-mid 2023, a surge in enthusiasm about eVTOL stocks, plus promising developments from the company itself, resulted in a massive move higher for shares.
Trading for under $3.50 per share at the start of the year, JOBY stock at one point reached prices nearing $12 per share, during the height of this summer’s “eVTOL mania.” Again though, JOBY’s performance since then has been far less awe-inspiring. Sure, the stock has been climbing higher in recent weeks.
As mentioned above, shares are still up by more than 100% year-to-date. On the other hand, shares are down by around 40% off their 52-week highs.
Excitement about eVTOL stocks still hasn’t made a big comeback. Rising short-interest (currently at around 18.8% of float) suggests the “smart money” knows something’s going down (and it’s not good).
Another Banner Year Ahead?
As discussed in my last JOBY stock article, several developments have made the present year a banner one for the company. For instance, in 2023, Joby Aviation has made progress in obtaining the needed certifications from the Federal Aviation Administration needed in order to fully exit the pre-revenue stage.
Besides regulatory progress, the company has made progress lining up customers and strategic partners. Several airlines around the world are working with Joby, in their efforts to one day offer air taxi services.
Just last week, Joby and its Japanese airline partner, ANA Holdings (OTCMKTS:ALNPY) announced a deal with Nomura Real Estate Development to design and build “vertiports” throughout Japan.
While these examples may be best classified as “small wins,” racking up a few more in 2024 could do wonders for JOBY shares. This, plus renewed appreciation for speculative growth stocks, as interest rate trends become more favorable, could fuel a move back in the right direction for this stock.
That’s not all. Given the relatively high short interest with JOBY right now, a sudden shift in sentiment back to bullish could really throw the short side in for a loop.
The Bottom Line
Let’s be clear. While analysts expect Joby to report substantially higher revenue next year ($25 million, versus an estimated $1.12 million for 2023), this company has a ways to go before hitting the big time commercially.
Still, a tremendous liftoff could precede the big payoff. The stock could climb to new highs, as investors further price-in future growth. Joby’s eVTOL aircraft may not need a whole lot of runway, but the potential growth runway for this industry is extensive.
At least, that’s the view of InvestorPlace’s Luke Lango. Last year, he argued that the total addressable market for eVTOLs could one day hit $3 trillion. Other analysts have cited even higher numbers.
With this, if you can handle the risk and volatility, and are bullish on the eVTOL trend, definitely keep JOBY stock on your radar.
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