Tesla Stock Has 17% Downside, According to 1 Wall Street Analyst


Deliveries are slumping, and price cuts aren’t helping.

Following a disastrous first-quarter deliveries report, electric vehicle specialist Tesla (TSLA -0.66%) is being kicked while it’s down by analysts. Analysts at HSBC took the opportunity to cut its price target on Tesla stock from $143 to $138 while maintaining a reduce rating.

That new price target implies a downside of nearly 17% from the current stock price.

Lower prices aren’t helping Tesla

Tesla delivered 386,810 vehicles in the first quarter, down about 8.5% year over year. There were some unusual circumstances, including shipping diversions caused by conflicts in or near the Red Sea and an arson attack at the company’s factory in Berlin. However, it’s becoming clear that Tesla is not immune to a sluggish demand environment for electric vehicles.

HSBC noted that Tesla’s deliveries in the first quarter were 13% below the consensus analyst estimate, mainly due to weak deliveries for the Model 3 and Model Y. HSBC also said that Tesla had cut prices by about 9% on average so far this year, but that price reductions are not driving increased volumes.

Other automakers have pulled back on their EV plans as they cope with a tough demand environment. General Motors gave up on its goal of manufacturing 400,000 EVs through mid-2024, delaying production of some models and adding some plug-in hybrids to its product plans. Meanwhile, Ford Motor Company is cutting or delaying about $12 billion of EV spending as it reacts to slowing consumer demand.

Should you sell Tesla stock?

Tesla has always been a stock that required a certain amount of mental gymnastics to justify buying. The company says it’s “between two major growth waves,” but it’s not clear what’s going to drive growth in the future.

Tesla is valued at about $530 billion, or more than 5 times sales, a mesmerizing valuation for a capital-intensive automaker. With Tesla’s growth story unraveling, the stock could plunge far more than 17% if the company can’t get back on track.

HSBC Holdings is an advertising partner of The Ascent, a Motley Fool company. Timothy Green has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Tesla. The Motley Fool recommends General Motors and HSBC Holdings and recommends the following options: long January 2025 $25 calls on General Motors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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