Earlier, Elon Musk took a giant 2018 behind him than a new concern erupted for Tesla Inc.: a potential ceiling in the demand for his cars.
Tesla's shares fell on the first day of 2019, after the company unexpectedly announced that it would cut prices by US $ 2,000. The move, designed to partially offset a reduction in federal tax credit for its electric cars, highlighted the key challenge in what is likely to be a decisive year for the company and its CEO. The automaker also said Wednesday that fourth-quarter deliveries fell just below analysts' estimates.
The 63,150 Model 3 & # 39; s that were handed over to customers in the fourth quarter, dragged the approx. 63,700 average analysts. Tesla said more than three-quarters of orders for the last three months of the year were from new customers, rather than reserve keepers. This suggests that many consumers are still waiting to buy versions of the vehicle at the much-promised $ 35,000 sticker price.
"This was a good quarter in terms of production ramp and strong underlying demand, but Tesla came up to be bullied on expectations and this will be the focus on the street," says Daniel Ives, analyst at Wedbush Securities in an email. "We also believe that the $ 2,000 price reduction to help subsidize the lower EV tax relief is a step not fully anticipated."
Tesla shares fell as much as 10 per cent. For $ 298.80 a. 10:30. Wednesday in New York. The share rose 6.9 percent last year, while most other car manufacturers declined.
Electric car manufacturer's 5.3 percent junk bonds due in 2025 were the biggest decliners on the market on Wednesday morning. The bonds dropped 2 US cents on the dollar to 85.5 US cents, the largest drop since September, according to Trace, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority's bond reporting system.
It will be a few weeks before Tesla confirms whether it was profitable in a second quarter in a row. But the company's ability to maintain a higher level of production – it built 61,394 Model 3s and 86,555 vehicles in total over the last three months – will go a long way towards that goal.
Musk said back in October that Tesla turned its attention to completing Model 3 orders in Europe and China at the beginning of the year would help alleviate slim demand when US buyers lost the entire $ 7,500 federal tax credit. But customers in these markets still have several weeks to wait, as the company now says that deliveries start in February.
Tesla fell short of its goal of delivering 100,000 of its more expensive Model S and Model X vehicles for the year that sold 99,394 units. Still, James Albertine, an analyst at Consumer Edge Research, said Wednesday's salesoff, an over-reaction.
"The optics in this decision are weighing on shares, which is not surprising," Albertine, which corresponds to a rating of Tesla shares, wrote in a note to customers. "For us, demand is not a problem, nor is EV competition at this point."