Tesla sinks after missing Model 3 deliveries by a mile

Tesla shares are sliding ahead of Thursday’s opening bell, down 5.44% at $US300, after the company reported fourth-quarter Model 3 deliveries that missed estimates by a mile.

The electric-car maker said it delivered 1,550 Model 3 sedans in the fourth quarter, a bit more than half of the 2,917 that Wall Street analysts were expecting. Tesla produced 2,425 sedans during the period.

That number fell well short of Elon Musk’s promise of producing 20,000 Model 3 sedans per month beginning in December. “Looks like we can reach 20,000 Model 3 cars per month in Dec,” Musk tweeted back in January.

Thursday’s drop is a welcome sign for traders who have been loading up on bets against Tesla. Short interest in Tesla has climbed by $US6 million, or 22%, in the three months leading up to announcement amid mounting concerns over the delivery numbers and as traders use recent high flyers hedge against the broader market.

Traders will now turn their attention to the the company’s fourth-quarter results, which are due out on February 21.

Tesla shares gained 45% in 2017.

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