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February 1, 2016
13:24 EDTFTesla bull cuts target as competition ramps more quickly than new models
Shares of Tesla (TSLA) dipped significantly in early trading before later rebounding after Morgan Stanley cut its price target on the automaker to $333 from its previous $450, with the research firm citing a slow production ramp for its new car models, potentially weakened consumer demand amid cheap oil, and clearly heightening competition in the electric and autonomous vehicle space. LOW DEMAND, MORE COMPETITION: Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jones cut his price target on Tesla to $333 from $450, arguing Monday that the carmaker is facing a slow production ramp for the Model X as well as the Model 3, which Jones said may launch in late 2018, missing the company's internal target by at least one year. It is reasonable to assume, Jones said, that Tesla is taking a deliberate, quality-conscious pace for Model X production while also shuffling personnel to help with the car's early rollout, impacting the launch of the mass-market Model 3 even as the company grapples with potentially reduced consumer demand in today's cheap oil environment. Given his assumption of lower volumes, the analyst's revised his 2020 forecast for complete vehicle deliveries to less than half of Tesla's own 500,000 target. For 2016, the analyst cut his total delivery forecast 2% to roughly 70,000 units, including a revision of Model X expectations to 15,000 from 18,500. Contributing to Tesla's headwinds, its consumer energy storage solution looks to be more expensive than previously thought, while competition in the shared and autonomous mobility arena has increased markedly. Indeed, competing efforts from Ford (F), Volkswagen (VLKAY), Alphabet (GOOG) and many others appear "genuine" and are likely to see significant investment follow-through, potentially pressuring Tesla's margins as it increases R&D spend to keep pace, Jones argued. That said, the analyst keeps an Overweight rating on the shares, explaining that while Tesla remains a high risk name that burns plenty of cash to fuel its ambitious plans, it may still be the best positioned company in the ongoing "Auto 2.0" transition. PRICE ACTION: After quickly dropping as low as $182.75 in early trading, shares of Tesla are now up 2.6% to $196.14 in afternoon trading.
January 29, 2016
10:27 EDTFActive calls: IWM F DXJ ABT FXI AAPL EEM COP
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