CNBC's Jim Cramer on Friday gave his assessment on XL Fleet, the commercial and municipal fleet electrification supplier that's expected to go public next week via blank-check merger.
XL Fleet, founded in 2009 to tap into the emerging electric vehicle economy, is being targeted by a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) called Pivotal Investment, whose stock Cramer said is undervalued.
The stock slipped about 0.3% Friday, closing at $15.32 per share.
"With Pivotal Investment trading at $15 going into the XL Fleet merger, I think the stock could be a steal," the "Mad Money" host said. "But if it starts flying next week, I'm begging that maybe you don't chase it too much past $20."
XL Fleet, which produces hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains, is the latest in a string of new market entrants through SPACs, one of the hottest topics on Wall Street. SPACs are founded specifically to raise money and purchase private companies, taking them public.
The powertrains the company produces are used to transition traditional gas-powered vehicles into hybrids on the assembly line. Their products are currently used in some Ford, GM and Isuzu fleet trucks.
The plug-in products XL Fleet supplies to outfit the Ford F-150 reduce carbon emissions by 33%, the company says.
XL Fleet plans a fully electric system by 2022. It's coming public in a year where a flood of companies are coming public via SPAC deals, especially electric vehicle producers and related companies. The company is projected to bring in $21 million of revenue this year, which it expects to grow to $647 million by 2023.
"What really sets XL Fleet apart, though, is that unlike most of the electric SPAC plays, its products are already on the road," Cramer said. "XL Fleet's a little different in that their near-term forecasts are much more substantial than what you see from most of these SPAC names."
Cramer does worry about two headwinds that XL Fleet faces. That includes carmakers who have plans to make their own fully electric models, which would reduce the need for XL Fleet's powertrains. Ford has its own plans to release electric models of the F-150 and Transit Van in 2022.
Cahs-strapped state and local governments are another headwind for XL Fleet, said Cramer, who worries that the coronavirus pandemic could impact spending on green transportation initiatives.
In the meantime, the host thinks the stock of Pivotal Investments, the acquiring company, is flashing a buying opportunity.
"I've gotta tell you, if XL Fleet can get even close to hitting its forecasts for 2022 or 2023, and we get some clarity on that relationship with Ford and the F-150, this stock is cheap, darned cheap," Cramer said. "XL Fleet would be trading at just 3.3 times its 2023 forecast."
Disclosure: Cramer's charitable trust owns shares of Ford.