A Wall Street bank eviscerates Tesla

Photo: Bill Pugliano/ Getty Images.

Tesla’s lacklustre first quarter results have some folks on Wall Street doubling down on their bearish outlook for the firm.

In a scathing note sent out to clients on Thursday, a team of equity analysts at UBS maintained its “Sell” rating and $US160 price target, on the stock.

“We are lowering our 2017 estimate from -$US2.90 to -$US3.70 reflecting the Q1 miss and Q2 outlook (higher OpEx than forecast),” the team, led by Colin Lagan, wrote.

Currently, Tesla shares are trading at $US296.64 a share, meaning UBS’ target is some 46% below the current level.

On Wednesday, the electric-car maker reported a wider-than-expected adjusted loss of $US1.33 for its first quarter as it burned through $US623 million. Wall Street was anticipating a loss of $US0.81 a share.

The bank also noted two potential risks moving forward: the automaker’s merger with SolarCity and the possibility that the Model 3, which will begin production in 2017, won’t churn a profit.

But UBS said in the “absolute” worse case scenario Tesla’s stock could tumble to $US43 per share.

“The absolute downside for the TSLA stock is material as we believe any significant problems with the current or future products would likely cripple the company in the early stages of its growth,” the bank said.

According to UBS, that scenario is contingent upon the firm selling only 500,000 vehicles in 2025 and operating margins of 8% and solar “sales of 5GWh and 10% margins.”

Get the latest Tesla stock price here.

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