Tesla analysts are questioning how many people even want to buy Elon Musk's cars after weak delivery numbers


Tesla shareholders are dealing with a lot right now.

The electric car-maker’s first-quarter delivery figures fell short of expectations, sending the stock plunging by more than 8%. Elon Musk, the company’s CEO, is in a battle with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The newly unveiled Model Y is expected to claw interest away from the mass-market Model 3 sedan. And on top of that, Musk doesn’t expect the company turn a profit in the first-quarter.

Now shareholders have another worry. They’re grappling with a fundamental concern that has been heightened by Wednesday’s disappointing delivery numbers: waning demand.

Tesla’s total first-quarter deliveries, which dropped 31% from the prior quarter, suggest demand is still a burning concern for investors, analysts across Wall Street said in their notes sent out on Thursday.

The electric-car maker delivered 63,000 vehicles in the quarter, a figure that fell short of expectations from analysts polled by Reuters. Just 12,100 Model S and Model X vehicles were delivered, representing a steep drop-off from the 27,550 that were delivered last quarter.


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Tesla is plunging after first-quarter deliveries came up short

Widely followed Tesla analysts did not mince words, saying that Tesla’s underlying demand is going to be put to the test.

  • Citi: “Tesla confirmed its 2019 delivery targets, which of course now look quite aggressive requiring ~100k deliveries on average in each remaining quarter. So demand will likely be scrutinised even more so, and the outcome in the coming months could meaningfully re-shape the entire Tesla bulls/bear debate.”
  • Goldman Sachs: “Model S/X and Model 3 production/deliveries fall below both GSe and consensus as we believe demand is in question.”
  • UBS: “Low Q1 Deliveries Raises Questions on Demand & FY Targets,” the firm titled its report, adding that lowered vehicle prices imply falling demand.
  • JPMorgan: “We are lowering our estimates and price target on Tesla shares today (to $US200 from $US215), reflecting the softer 1Q deliveries and flow-through of what we see as reduced underlying demand going forward for the higher ASP S & X,” analysts wrote, referring to the average selling price.

Ultimately, the first-quarter is shaping up to be one Tesla “may want to forget,” Morgan Stanley analysts wrote.

Tesla shares have fallen 20% this year through Thursday.


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