NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Tesla Motors (TSLA) - Get Report shares are down 0.3% to $217.55 in trading on Friday, the same day the electric vehicle manufacturer unveiled its first battery-swap station in California between San Francisco and Los Angeles. The stations are designed to refuel the lithium ion batteries that power Tesla's vehicles.

A little over 45 minutes ago Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted, "Pack swap now operating in limited beta mode for SF to LA route. Can swap battery faster than visiting a gas station. Tesla blog out soon."

Last year the company demonstrated that the Model S battery could be charged in about half the time it takes to fill the tank of a gas powered vehicle. On average Tesla batteries have a range of about 350 miles.

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TheStreet Ratings team rates TESLA MOTORS INC as a Sell with a ratings score of D. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate TESLA MOTORS INC (TSLA) a SELL. This is driven by some concerns, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income, weak operating cash flow and generally high debt management risk."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Automobiles industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 94.1% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$38.50 million to -$74.71 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to -$28.00 million or 127.35% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 2.60 and currently higher than the industry average, implying increased risk associated with the management of debt levels within the company. Even though the debt-to-equity ratio is weak, TSLA's quick ratio is somewhat strong at 1.38, demonstrating the ability to handle short-term liquidity needs.
  • Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. Compared to other companies in the Automobiles industry and the overall market, TESLA MOTORS INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • TESLA MOTORS INC has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, TESLA MOTORS INC continued to lose money by earning -$0.71 versus -$3.70 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.60 versus -$0.71).
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: TSLA Ratings Report

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