Tesla Slides After Model 3 Production Miss

Shares of Tesla (TSLA) are slipping after the company reported deliveries and production for the third quarter last night. While Model S and X deliveries were better than expected, Model 3 numbers came in below estimates. Commenting on the news, Baird analyst Ben Kallo recommended using any weakness as a buying opportunity as he sees the update as good enough, while his peer at Bernstein argued that the report raised more questions than answers.

PRODUCTION, DELIVERIES UPDATE: Last night, Tesla reported that in the third quarter it delivered 26,150 vehicles, of which 14,065 were Model S, 11,865 were Model X, and 220 were Model 3. The company said this was its all-time best quarter for Model S and X deliveries. In total, the company expects to deliver about 100,000 Model S and X vehicles in 2017. In addition to the third quarter deliveries, about 4,820 Model S and X vehicles were in transit to customers at the end of the quarter, which will be counted as deliveries in the fourth quarter. Meanwhile, third quarter production totaled 25,336 vehicles, with 260 of them being Model 3. Model 3 production was less than anticipated due to production bottlenecks. Tesla also noted that “is important to emphasize that there are no fundamental issues with the Model 3 production or supply chain. Tesla understands what needs to be fixed and is confident of addressing the manufacturing bottleneck issues in the near-term.”

BUYING OPPORTUNITY: In a research note this morning, Baird’s Kallo argued that although Model 3 deliveries were slightly below the range he had outlined before due to manufacturing bottlenecks, production should continue to ramp and he believes Model S and X demand remains strong. Further, he pointed out he had expected the third quarter to be the most challenging part of the Model 3 production ramp and said he would be an “aggressive” buyer on any weakness as he believes Tesla is only two to four weeks behind schedule. Kallo reiterated an Outperform rating and $411 price target on the shares. Meanwhile, his peer at KeyBanc told investors in a research note of his own that he thinks the Model 3 miss was somewhat priced in. Analyst Brad Erickson argued that he sees Model 3 euphoria likely to persist. Nonetheless, high-end demand and likely shortfalls in Model 3 profitability remain his concern and primary focus.

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Author: Travis Esquivel

Travis Esquivel is an engineer, passionate soccer player and full-time dad. He enjoys writing about innovation and technology from time to time.

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