Investor's Corner

Tesla ‘came out swinging’ in Q4 to offset cold Q3: Wedbush

A Tesla employee at the company's facility in Fremont, California. (Credit: YouTube/RoadShow)

Tesla reported its Q4 and 2023 full-year delivery and production figures this morning, announcing that it had successfully reached its 1.8 million unit delivery goal.

With the accomplishment comes various analyses from Wall Street firms, including Wedbush, which stated that Tesla’s Q4 performance inspired an attitude that required the automaker to “come out swinging” after a cold Q3 that was caused by line upgrades, according to the company.

Tesla’s Q3 2023 performance marked the first time in several years that it saw a quarter-over-quarter decrease in production and deliveries, and it was caused by line upgrades at several factories. Tesla reported in Q2 during its Earnings Call that Q3 would be slower than normal due to these upgrades, and the lack of growth certainly made things harder for the company to reach its 1.8 million unit goal for 2023.

Tesla hits 2023 delivery guidance of 1.8 million vehicles

However, Q4 rolled along, and Tesla managed to push its limits with a strong performance that can be summed up as a fighting effort. The company knew it would be a challenge to reach the 1.8 million bogey, but its routine end-of-year push managed to get Tesla back on track and accomplish what was a tremendous effort in terms of reaching certain numerical goals it set early on.

Wedbush recognizes that Tesla needed to scratch and claw its way to 1.8 million, and the tone was set early on. Dan Ives of Wedbush writes that Tesla had to “come out swinging” in Q4, but solid delivery figures helped the company not only reach its goals for 2023 but move into 2024 with plenty of momentum:

“This was an important quarter for Tesla to show strong deliveries with clear momentum into 2024 as demand has upticked since 3Q based on all our global checks,” Ives writes. “Pricing was stable and actually increased in China throughout the quarter as the price war in China has finally hit a calm period which is music to the ears of Tesla bulls.”

Although Tesla has a substantial market share lead in the United States, dominated European markets, and was among the leaders in the EV sector in China, Ives recognizes a “choppy macro for EVs” was another challenge the automaker had to navigate during Q4 and all of 2023.

With more competition in the market than ever, Tesla had to deal with customers considering other appealing options in order to meet its goal. It managed to do that, and Ives writes that this accomplishment is “a clear win for Musk and Tesla.”

Ives and Wedbush maintained an ‘Outperform’ rating on the stock and a $350 price target.

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Tesla ‘came out swinging’ in Q4 to offset cold Q3: Wedbush
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