Tesla's First-Quarter Deliveries Likely to Lag Wall Street Estimate, Analyst Says

Tesla will likely deliver 88,000 vehicles in the first quarter, 10% below Wall Street's forecast of 97,000, Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas says.
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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.