Blue Bird Bus Stock Is Blowing Tesla, Rivian, and Lucid Out of the Water

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To the moon? No, to the school!

byJames Gilboy| PUBLISHED Jun 7, 2024 3:59 PM EDT
Blue Bird Corporation (foreground), Yuichiro Chino (background)

If you poured all your savings into Tesla stock this time last year, you’d have lost more than 20 percent of your money. But school buses? Baby, if you’d bought Blue Bird stock instead, you’d be planning your retirement because this manufacturer is making the majority of EV investors look like chumps.

Blue Bird has been one of the beneficiaries of the EPA’s Clean School Bus Program, which awarded $5 billion to replace internal combustion-powered buses with electric ones. Though electric school buses have significantly higher upfront costs, running more than $300,000 to a conventional bus’ $100,000 according to Business Insider, they have some considerable advantages. Their low operating cost and maintenance requirements might save districts money in the long term, while their fixed routes and centralized depots make EVs more suitable for school bus duty than many other applications. And that’s having a big effect on the bottom line of bus makers like Blue Bird.

Blue Bird All American electric bus. Blue Bird Corporation

In its fiscal Q2 report, Blue Bird reportedly disclosed the sale of 210 electric school buses that quarter, with its backlog growing to 500 orders—up 56 percent from a year ago. Revenue is reportedly up 15 percent year-over-year to $346 million, apparently $50 million above what analysts estimated, with electric buses’ proportion growing from six to nine percent. Profit per share has more than tripled to $0.89, which in turn has ballooned the company’s stock.

In calendar 2024 so far, Blue Bird has reportedly had the best-performing stock of any EV manufacturer, buses or otherwise. Shares have risen 116 percent in 2024, and 168 percent since this time last year, driving Blue Bird’s market cap to $2 billion. Compared to the most hyped EV stocks, the differences are stark: Tesla is down 21 percent, Rivian 17, and Lucid more than 57 percent.

The reason for Blue Bird’s rally in spite of the larger EV market’s tempered optimism is obvious. It’s based on actual business performance, rather than unfounded hopes of upending an entire industry. Blue Bird isn’t subject to the same market-manipulating forces that surround companies like Tesla, or at least, not to the same extreme. Odds are, your typical Blue Bird investor takes a more targeted, more diversified investment strategy rather than gambling on a single, volatile, overinflated stock. It’s almost like that’s how real fortunes are built, rather than flimflam ones that crumble along with demand for Teslas.

Got a tip or question for the author? You can reach them here: james@thedrive.com

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