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Tesla extends slump | Bloomberg News

Tesla extends slump | Bloomberg News

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Tesla Inc. shares fell more than 14 percent after the electric-car maker shipped fewer vehicles than expected last quarter despite offering heavy stimulus in its biggest markets.

The company said Monday that it handed over 405,278 vehicles to customers over the past three months, down from the median estimate of 420,760 compiled by Bloomberg. While the total was a quarterly record for Tesla, the company opened two new assembly plants last year and fell short of its goal of expanding by 50 percent. It’s also the third straight quarter that shipments have missed estimates. Several analysts cut price targets for the stock on Tuesday, resulting in Tesla’s lowest 12-month average stock forecast since October 2021. And JPMorgan Chase & Co. said Tesla may never meet its multi-year sales growth target of 50 percent again.

“Our base-case assumption is that annual growth (while remaining impressive overall) is likely to decline every year from now on,” wrote analyst Ryan Brinkman, who has the equivalent of a sell rating on the shares, in a research note. Tesla’s double-digit drop to $105.60 just before 12 a.m. New York — the sharpest drop since September 2020 — follows a dismal 2022 for the stock. In December, shares plunged 37 percent and ended the year with a record 65 percent fall.

After CEO Elon Musk predicted an “epic” end to the year, Tesla cut vehicle prices and manufacturing in China, then offered $7,500 rebates in the United States. Concerns about rising interest rates, inflation and other economic headwinds — as well as worries about Musk’s antics on Twitter, which he now owns — sent Tesla shares down 37 percent in December and 65 percent over the past year.

“We believe Tesla faces a significant demand problem,” wrote Toni Sacconaghi, a Bernstein analyst who also has the equivalent of a sell rating on the stock, in a report Monday. “We believe that Tesla must either scale back its growth targets (and run its factories below capacity) or maintain and potentially increase recent price cuts globally, putting pressure on margins.”

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