Shares of Tesla (TSLA - Get Report) fell more than 3% Friday after analysts at Cowen cut its price target for the electric-car company and lowered first-quarter delivery estimates due to softening U.S. demand for the Model 3. Cowen now expects Tesla to deliver 47,500 Model 3s this quarter, down from its previous guidance of 55,000.
Analyst Jeffrey Osborne expects U.S. demand to continue to decline until Tesla introduces a planned $35,000 version of the Model 3 in the second quarter. As a result, Osborne lowered his price target for the stock to $180 from a previous $200, which was already well-below TSLA's current price. The news helped push Tesla stock down 3.4% to $264.67 shortly after noon ET.
Osborne added in a research note that "we have also updated our model to reflect the company's price changes throughout the lineup and the likely negative impact to margins. We see the biggest risk to our revised assumptions emanating from China, where delivery expectations and customs clearance are less visible."
Cowen expects the majority Tesla's forst-quarter deliveries (22,000) to come from the United States, with China adding 10,000 deliveries and Norway seeing 5,300 deliveries. He projected that the rest of Europe outside of Norway will account for 5,850 deliveries.
"Management will likely attribute the likely delivery miss to vehicles in transit to Europe and China, but we believe low demand in the United States is also a factor," Osborne wrote. "The company had timed production batches for international shipments early in the quarter before switching to domestic production in March to give time to arrive by quarter end, which is likely why
deliveries are typically the strongest across all markets in the final month of the quarter for all models."
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