Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Tesla will miss Model 3 launch deadline, bearish analyst says

Tesla is unlikely to meet its summer goal to start production of the Model 3, causing one analyst to downgrade the automaker's stock to "sell." The Grinch in this particular Christmas Party is Goldman Sachs' David Tamberrino, which Bloomberg News cited as reducing his recommendation on the stock. Tesla shares fell 4.1 percent on Monday to about $246 and were trading near that level Tuesday morning.
The California-based electric-vehicle maker reiterated in its investors note last week that Model 3 vehicles would start rolling off the production line as soon as July. Tesla said it would be producing 5,000 Model 3 vehicles a week by the end of the year and will double that pace to an annualized rate of more than a half-million Model 3 vehicles by the end of 2018. Tesla shares hit a 52-week high of more than $287 earlier this month and have jumped 29 percent in the past year.

But that summer deadline won't be met, wrote Tamberrino, who put a six-month price target as low as $185, or a 25-percent plunge. Additionally, with money-losing company SolarCity in the fold, Tesla will likely need to raise cash by year end.

Tesla has been notorious with missing deadlines, and the the Model 3 is particularly notable because of its advance interest. Within 24 hours of going on sale last spring, the Model 3 generated about 180,000 pre-orders, with each generating a $1,000 refundable deposit. That number has since grown to about 375,000. Unlike its Model S and Model X brethren, the five-seat Model 3 is more popularly priced, at about $35,000 and offers a single-charge range of 215 miles.

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