Shares of Tesla (TSLA) - Get Report on Monday fell after Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas said the coronavirus could depress first-quarter deliveries from the country’s biggest electric-vehicle maker.
Just last week, Jonas upgraded his rating on the Palo Alto, Calif., company's stock to equal weight from underperform.
But he wrote in a report Monday that the pandemic will stifle the company’s deliveries this quarter.
“Tesla typically delivers a disproportionate share of its quarter’s units in the last two weeks of the quarter,” he said, according to Barron’s. But that’s out the window now as a result of the coronavirus, he said.
Tesla will likely deliver 88,000 vehicles in the first quarter, Jonas forecast. That's 10% below analysts’ average projection of 97,000, according to FactSet.
For the 2019 fourth quarter, the number was 120,000.
Jonas said the investors he talks with predict a first-quarter number in the low 80,000s.
He has a price target of $440 on Tesla’s stock. At last check, Tesla shares traded at $512.60, down 0.3%.
Last week, Citigroup analyst Itay Michaeli lowered his price target on Tesla to $246 from $312, confirming his sell rating.
"While Tesla's balance sheet should be able to withstand a highly disruptive second quarter, the risk of an extended shutdown at Fremont, Calif., could put significant pressure on the balance sheet,” he wrote in a commentary, MarketWatch reports.
The company moved to close the plant under pressure from the government and its own workers the week before last.
The stock has dropped 24% over the past month, compared with a 12% decline for the S&P 500 index.