May 13 (Reuters) - Aeva Technologies Inc said on
Thursday it signed a deal to develop a sensor for a self-driving
car to be made by an "undisclosed large company," and its shares
rose 13% even as it reported that its loss ballooned and sales
came in far below forecasts.
Aeva reported first-quarter revenue of $300,000, down from
$500,000 a year earlier and far below analysts' estimate of
$1.38 million, according to Refinitiv estimates. Its adjusted
operating loss more than doubled to $15.6 million from $6.1
million a year ago.
Founded by two ex-Apple Inc engineers, Aeva makes a
sensor that helps self-driving cars navigate through the use
lidar technology that uses lasers, much like radar uses radio
waves. The company became publicly traded through a reverse
merger earlier this year and was one of several lidar firms to
Aeva said on Thursday it had signed a "foundational
agreement with an undisclosed large company to develop
best-in-class lidar" for the customer's autonomous driving
Aeva's shares were up 13% at $8 in after-hours trading after
the results and customer announcement.
In an interview, Aeva Chief Executive Soroush Salehian said
the company could not disclose when it would go into mass
production with the undisclosed customer but that "there's going
to be increased activity as we work toward production.
"This has a huge potential," he said, "and based on what we
know, it could be one of the largest programs in the industry."
Aeva has deals with automotive suppliers Denso Corp
and ZF Friedrichshafen AG to mass-manufacture its sensors.
Earlier this week, the company said it added to its advisory
board Apple senior executive Steve Zadesky and Volkswagen AG
Senior Vice President Alex Hitzinger, who was also
once part of Apple's self-driving car Project Titan. Porsche
Automobil Holding SE, Volkswagen's majority voting
shareholder, is also an investor in Aeva.
(Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Editing by David
Gregorio and Richard Chang)