Tesla Inc. (TSLA) - Get Report shares slipped lower Wednesday after founder and CEO Elon Musk suggested the carmaker could have a record quarter of deliveries and insisted the was "not a demand problem" for the flagship Model 3.
Speaking to investors at the company's annual shareholder meeting in Mountain View, California, Musk said there was a "decent chance" of a record quarter, which the company has said could mean deliveries of between 90,000 and 100,000 clean-energy cars. Musk added that sales had "far exceeded" production over the three month period that will end later this month, and that he expects to add the Model Y SUV to the group's line-up later this year.
Tesla shares were marked 1.17% lower Wednesday to change hands at $214.55 each, a move that would trim the stock's seven-day gain to around $15%.
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Last week, the tech-focused publication Electrek reported that a massive push to drive end-of-quarter sales could lead to record delivers, and that Tesla has already shifted 33,000 cars in North America this quarter, with hopes of a similar tally for the month of June as the company incentivises employees with new bonuses. Tesla's quarterly record of 90,700 deliveries was registered over the final three months of last year.
Under pressure from shareholders, potential China tariffs, increasing competition and myriad production challenges, Musk has sought to steady the stock's precipitous 2019 decline with a tighter grip on costs and a renewed focus on deliveries.
Analysts, however, continue to question the company's path to profitability, with Barclays' Brian Johnson cutting his price target on the carmaker to $150 per share from $192 amid concerns over stagnating domestic demand for its flagship Model 3 sedan.
Last month, Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas sent shares in the group sharply lower after he reduced his "bear case" outcome for the stock price, a view based on a series of worst-case scenarios for Tesla, to $10 a share from a previous estimate of $97 amid increasing concern it could find itself trapped in a tech and trade war between Washington and Beijing.
Jonas's estimate is for Tesla sales in China, between 2020 and 2024, to generate around $9 billion in revenues.
However, should officials in Beijing respond to the increasingly damaging trade war and target Tesla with reprisal tariffs or restrictions, that figure could be sliced in half and carve more than $16.4 billion in market value from the Palo Alto, California-based company.