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Tesla sputtering; analyst sees sales falling short of targets

Rex Crum, The Mercury News on

Published in Automotive News

Tesla took a hit on Monday as investors turned on the electric carmaker after a Wall Street analyst said he thinks the company will miss its own vehicle delivery targets for 2019.

Jeffrey Osborne, of Cowen & Co., said in a research note Monday that he expects Tesla will report deliveries of 101,000 vehicles for the fourth quarter of the year when it gives its quarterly delivery totals in early January. That number would be a record for vehicle deliveries in a quarter for Tesla, and would give the company approximately 356,000 deliveries for this year.

Osborne's forecast would leave Tesla falling just a bit shy of the 360,000 delivery target that Chief Executive Elon Musk said in October that he was confident the company would reach.

Osborne actually raised his fourth-quarter delivery estimates for Tesla from his prior forecast of 95,000 vehicles. However, Osborne said that he thinks the company will miss its own delivery targets due to weaker demand for Tesla's Model S and Model X vehicles. Osborne estimates Tesla will report 15,000 combined deliveries of those vehicles, as compared to the company's forecast for 20,000 Model S and Model X deliveries.

Tesla typically gives its quarterly delivery report within four days after the end of a quarter, and several days ahead of its full quarterly earnings and revenue results.

Osborne's delivery outlook for Tesla took some of the shine off of Tesla's stock, which had been on a tear over the last week. On Monday, Tesla's shares fell 3.6%, to close at $414.70, after reaching as high as $435 a share on Dec. 27.

 

Osborne also thinks Tesla's shares are overvalued, as he has a price target of just $210 a share on the stock. Osborne said he remains skeptical about Tesla because of what he sees as risks to the company's growth efforts due to new competitors entering the electric car maket.

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