Shares of Tesla Inc. fell more than 8% on Thursday, as Wall Street analysts used well-chosen terms to describe their dismay at the automaker, who was selling fewer vehicles than expected in the first quarter.
"Ugly", "weak" and "disappointing" were included in the initial notes, which gave rise to new doubts about Tesla's profitability, growth and cash position.
At the lowest level on Thursday, Tesla
stocks fell by almost 11%, the largest percentage decline since January 18th. They are far from 30% of their closing record of $ 385 in September 2017.
See also: Tesla delivers fewer vehicles than expected in the first quarter
The automaker pinned this mistake on "massive" backlogs in China and Europe. Tesla delivered approximately 63,000 vehicles in the first quarter, including 50,900 models 3; This figure was compared to the expectations of about 76,000 vehicles, including 54,600 models 3, according to FactSet.
Tesla reaffirmed its sales forecast for 2019 of 360,000 and 400,000 vehicles.
With the weak start to the year, "they will have trouble following this directive", especially with the reduction of federal tax credits for mid-year electric vehicles and their removal in January. end of year, said Garrett Nelson, analyst. with CFRA.
The "massive" drop of 31% quarter-on-quarter also has a negative impact on Tesla's vehicle sales cost and "we know that they have lowered prices to support sales, which should be equivalent to pretty bad quarter. from the margin point of view, "he told MarketWatch.
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Bernstein analysts, led by Toni Sacconaghi, pointed to the unexpected weakness of S and X model luxury vehicle sales, down 50% in one quarter. Possible explanations include seasonality, the reduction of the tax credit and increased competition, but "we remain puzzled by the magnitude of the decline," they said in a note.
Tesla "is now in the uncomfortable position of having to probably raise capital from a relatively weak position," Bernstein analysts said.
"Very low" production and delivery figures should make Tesla bulls nervous, said a Cowen analyst, led by Jeffrey Osborne. Tesla "has largely exhausted the demand accumulated for the versions of model 3 whose price is higher than 37 000 dollars," they said.
Analysts at Roth Capital highlighted "a busy day" for Tesla investors, Thursday also marking the court date for contempt charges. The audience comes from CEO tweets, Elon Musk, on Tesla's annual production targets, in light of last year's settlement with the SEC over the privatization saga of Tesla.
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Analysts said they did not expect "draconian" court action against Tesla's shareholders, but said "the whole process was self-inflicted by Musk, reckless and useless." ". Another fine would have no impact.
Analysts at RBC Capital questioned Tesla's assurances that, while first-quarter profits would suffer from delivery problems, they ended the quarter with "enough cash".
"We expect a significant cash outflow (in the first quarter.) We estimate that transit vehicles could represent working capital of approximately $ 500 million," RBC analysts, led by Joseph, said in a statement. Spak.
Deutsche Bank analysts have adopted a slightly more optimistic tone.
"With the US standard and US bottleneck versions, we expect model 3 shipments to increase significantly over the next few quarters, but it is unlikely that investors give them credit to Tesla as long as their composition and gross margin will not be clarified profile. "
Investors are likely to focus on Tesla Investor Day on April 19, analysts at Deutsche Bank, led by Emmanuel Rosner, said in a note.
Tesla is committed to providing a thorough analysis of its software and hardware, including its standalone computer.
Tesla shares have lost 6% in the last 12 months and are down 19% since the beginning of the year. This contrasts with gains of 9% and 15% for the S & P 500 Index
in the same periods.
The company's obligations were also mistreated. The 5,300% Notes maturing in August 2025 traded at 85.688 cents per dollar, a yield spread of 592 basis points over Treasury Bills, an additional 46 basis points over the day, according to MarketAxess. .