JPMorgan analyst Ryan Brinkman cut his price target for shares of the electric carmaker on Friday morning to $215 a share from $230. The $215 price target is 22.6% below the stock's current level. The shares bounced back from lowered premarket trading to close up .45% Friday to $279.86. Brinkman reiterated his underweight rating.
"1Q results are particularly susceptible to potential delays in delivering Model 3s to customers in Europe and China," Brinkman wrote in a note out Friday morning. "Any delays in delivering vehicles to Europe and China carry the potential for a disproportionate impact on 1Q deliveries (and, hence, revenue, margin, and cash flow), given the already guided back-end-loaded nature of 1Q deliveries."
Tesla management, according to Brinkman, had experienced delays in getting cars to Chinese customers. China has emerged as a key market for Tesla, as rising competition in the EU and somewhat in the U.S. has put pressure on the stock.
What's worse is that Brinkman believes Model 3 average selling prices are likely to decline. "Our own estimate is that Model 3 ASPs are likely to have peaked in 4Q1," he wrote. Recently, analysts have noted that a heavier reliance on the lower-priced Model 3 sales will pressure margins, so if the price of those cars drop, that could be especially damaging.
Brinkman lowered his delivery estimates for the upcoming reported quarter to 50,000 from 55,000. He also reduced his adjusted earnings per share estimate for the quarter to 38 cents from 94 cents, and his 2019 EPS estimate to $4.25 from $4.50. He expects 2020 EPS to come in at $6.75, down from an initial forecast of $7.
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