What happened

Shares of Niu Technologies (NASDAQ:NIU) jumped last month as the Chinese electric-scooter maker got a boost from a strong fourth-quarter sales report. Investors also continued to be bullish on the broader electric vehicle sector .  

The stock finished the month up 56%, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence

As you can see from the chart below, Niu picked up momentum after the Jan. 7 sales report and gained through most of the month.

NIU Chart

NIU data by YCharts

So what

Niu shares jumped 16% on Jan. 7 after the company said scooter sales rose 41% in the fourth quarter to 149,705 units. That wrapped a year of 42.6% growth to 600,892 units sold. That rise came in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic. China, which makes up the vast majority of its sales, also saw strong sales growth, rising 35% in the quarter. The company credited new models like the G0, MQi2, MQiS for this bump. These models now make up 43% of China's market volume. International markets also accelerated, with sales nearly tripling to 12,119. Investors clearly approved of the report.

A Niu scooter.

Image source: Niu Technologies.

The following week, Niu got a bullish note from Needham analyst Vincent Yu, who raised his price target from $36 to $46 and kept a buy rating on the stock. Yu also said he expected to see strong demand in China due to new national safety standards for EVs that could help boost the replacement cycle. Yu further noted that partnerships with ridesharing operators could drive sales overseas.

Now what

Electric vehicles hit a tipping point for investors last year as a number of EV stocks surged. That momentum looks set to continue this year. The Biden administration is expected to push for EV adoption, and General Motors also plans to go fully electric by 2035.

As a scooter maker, Niu offers investors a different avenue into the EV sector. It also trades at a significant discount to many of its peers. Considering that the company sold more vehicles than Tesla last year, this stock is worth considering for any investor looking for EV exposure.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.