But independent investment banking advisory firm Evercore ISI believes that the bloodbath isn’t done yet and has lowered its stock price target to $200 from $240. This represents a 13% drop from Tesla’s current stock price.
The Wheels Are Coming Off
Tesla’s stock has been hammered this year as investors and analysts have recognized that the electric vehicle maker faces an uphill task to grow sales thanks to a variety of challenges. According to Evercore ISI cited in CNBC:
“Our rev estimates decline -3%, -1%, and -6% in ’19, ’20, ’21 respectively, due to concerns around production, demand and macroeconomic conditions. With an enterprise value still of $53bn, Tesla still trades at a huge valuation premium to any automotive peers. This compares to other premium OEMs such as VW’s $36bn, BMW’s $15bn and DAI’s $27bn.”
Evercore’s thesis is that Tesla needs to deliver impressive growth in order to justify its lofty valuation. That can only happen if the company manages to execute its operating plan well, but that hasn’t been the case this year.
Tesla reported its biggest sales drop ever last month. Not surprisingly, the stock cratered. Its Q1 numbers were terrible amid logistics problems that hampered deliveries. Of course, Tesla is still promising that it will deliver 400,000 cars this year after moving just 63,000 vehicles in Q1.
Meant to say annualized production rate at end of 2019 probably around 500k, ie 10k cars/week. Deliveries for year still estimated to be about 400k.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 20, 2019
But Musk has failed to deliver on his promises in the past, so don’t be surprised to see him fluffing his lines once again.
Tesla’s Stock Is in for a Rocky Road
Tesla’s stock can only be propped up if the company can boost sales, but there are a ton of reasons why this is easier said than done.
First, the company no longer enjoys the federal tax credit tailwind, making its cars more expensive to purchase.
Important note for US Tesla buyers: Federal tax credit drops by $3750 in 3 weeks.
To be on the cancellation waitlist for delivery this year or if you want a display car, order at https://t.co/46TXqRJ3C1 or visit our stores. Full refund if Tesla can’t deliver your car this year.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 11, 2018
Second, Tesla has added to the potential buyer’s woes by raising the price of its cars. And finally, there’s a possibility that sales growth will be hurt by the growing population of used Tesla cars.
The combination of all these factors will dent not only Tesla’s sales growth but also its bottom line.
Tesla stock is already facing ominous signs as sales of the affordable Model 3 were down a whopping 74% month-over-month in January. This contributed to the big miss in Q1 deliveries, as analysts were originally expecting the company to deliver 91,000 vehicles.
If Elon Musk fails to ramp up delivery numbers in the coming quarters, Evercore’s $200 Tesla stock price prediction could come true and burn a deeper hole in investors’ pockets.