NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Long-term Tesla (TSLA - Get Report) investors have endured a rough ride this month. The best performing stock of 2013, got taken down a peg in April, falling more than 14% in the past thirty days. And a majority of investors on StockTwits.com -- even those who profess to love the electric car company --are betting shares will continue to reverse over the next few months.
Bearish sentiment on the stock is 52%, according to StockTwits' analytics. Short interest is at nearly 29% of float, according to data on shortsqueeze.com.
It's not quite clear how the tide turned against Tesla. Back when Elon Musk was releasing Gigafactory slides, investors couldn't get enough of electric cars and lithium batteries. Tesla, judging by the comments on the StockTwits stream, was destined to disrupt the entire energy industry -- let alone the global vehicle industry. Soon everyone would have a Tesla battery in their garage, regardless of whether they owned an electric car. How else would they store the power from the SolarCity (SCTY) solar panels on their roofs?
$TSLA When are earnings? Elon is the new steve jobs.... Hard to place a value on a company that changes the way you live. Tbink iPod. - Peter (@Poloace) Apr. 15 at 11:25 AMBut with the future of the five-year bull market in doubt, investors are getting more realistic about the valuation Tesla can support in the near term. And they doubt that investors are willing to stomach a price to forward 2015 earnings ratio of nearly 52 as risk appetites shrink.
$TSLA At this falling rate, any put strike will work. Just close your eyes and cast a stone. - Light trader (@lighttrader) Apr. 15 at 11:02 AMThat said, most investors still think Elon Musk is destined to deliver on his vision of green cars and solar-powered homes. Tesla, they say, will eventually deserve its $24.87 billion market cap -- and then some. Some investors believe that, by June, risk appetites will return and Tesla will, once again, be off to the races.
$TSLA I'm buying Jun calls each support it breaks. This one is going to roar when the market stabilises. - Rish (@androsForm) Apr. 15 at 11:07 AMAt the time of publication the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned. This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.