While the initial after market reaction to the miss in Q4 2016 production and deliveries was negative, reaction from Wall Street tell a different story as the company’s stock (Nasdaq: TSLA) quickly rallied to a 4.5% gain.
We’ve provided some market reactions from analysts watching the stock.
Colin Rusch from Oppenheimer reiterated a Hold rating on Tesla and said that “with TSLA announcing shipments of ~22.2k cars in 4Q16, we are expecting a better- than-feared trade over the next couple of days. While the company missed its 4Q16 shipment guidance by over 10% for the quarter, we believe expectations had dropped significantly below guidance due to media reports of slow sell-through. We anticipate investors will now shift focus to the Gigafactory ramp, timing of Model 3 production, and the company’s ability to generate cash from operations. We continue to be cautious about potential margin drag given simultaneous Model 3 and Gigafactory ramp plus purchase commitments for solar modules from its Buffalo facility.”
Lou Whiteman of TheStreet.com in a piece titled “Wall Street Still Loves Tesla and This Chart Proves It” stated that “While the results provided fresh fodder for the bears, they didn’t do enough to crush Wall Street’s long love affair with Elon Musk’s baby. Investors may also be optimistic ahead of a previously-planned analyst tour of the company’s Gigafactory battery facility scheduled for Wednesday.” Additionally he positively stated that “The total deliveries, though a miss, by far surpassed 2015’s total of about 50,000.” “The company has a history of missing internal deadlines, but simply showing progress towards bringing the Model 3 to market should be enough to keep bulls on board and allow Tesla to return to the capital markets to raise more cash if needed.”
TheStreet.com has been bearish on Tesla for a long time, and Lou warned that “even if the Model 3 arrives on time, there are still questions about whether the company can turn a profit on the vehicle. Tesla has targeted a base price of $35,000 for the vehicle, but skeptics including Stanphyl Capital managing member and portfolio manager Mark Spiegel estimate it might cost the company upwards of $48,000 per unit to produce the car.”
Jim Cramer, also of TheStreet.com, said on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” that “the market isn’t having a stronger reaction because the company seems to be coated with Teflon, meaning that it can withstand things like a lower-than-expected delivery number.” “It should be called Teflon Motors because I don’t think this will matter. Tesla seems to be “charmed,” and it’s still making a lot of cars, like Jay Leno noted,” Cramer noted. “In particular, Tesla’s sales numbers in China jumped dramatically this past year, which is “important. But regardless, people are not going to react to this news. The analysts aren’t going to change their view on it. I think that’s the important way to look at it. They’re just not going to change. No ‘buy’ to ‘holds.'”, Cramer reiterated.
In a Marketwatch story titled “Here’s why Tesla is Baird’s top stock-market pick for 2017“, analyst Ben Kallo was quoted saying that he”expects the company’s energy business and the launch of the Model 3 electric sedan will exceed expectations.” He went on saying that “Tesla energy storage business and growth opportunity is not currently reflected in share prices”. Ben named Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA) his “top pick for 2017” and reiterated an Outperform rating and price target of $338. He “does not believe the Q4 delivery number (expected by Jan. 3) will be an overhang and recommends buying shares heading into 2017 as they believe the stock will make new highs.
As I predicted on Tuesday, several unrelated reports covered the positive fact that Tesla finally begun producing batteries at the Gigafactory, lead by information coming from Tesla’s invite-only ‘investor event’. Everyone from Reuters to Bloomberg and the WSJ reported this news in their opening pages.
Cadie Thompson reported on Business Insider that Tesla began production of battery cells at its Gigafactory on Wednesday. “The battery cells currently in production will be used for Tesla’s rechargeable home battery, Powerwall 2, as well as its massive commercial battery, Powerpack 2. The electric-car maker said in a statement that it aims to begin production of battery cells for the Model 3, its first mass-market car, sometime in the second quarter.”
Tom Randall of Bloomberg, in an article titled “Tesla Flips the Switch on the Gigafactory” stated that “Musk meets a deadline: Battery-cell production begins at what will soon be the world’s biggest factory—with thousands of additional jobs.”
He goes on stating that “the Gigafactory has been activated. Hidden in the scrubland east of Reno, Nev., where cowboys gamble and wild horses still roam—a diamond-shaped factory of outlandish proportions is emerging from the sweat and promises of Tesla CEO Elon Musk. It’s known as the Gigafactory, and today its first battery cells are rolling off production lines to power the company’s energy storage products and, before long, the Model 3 electric car.”
Tom added that “by 2018, the Gigafactory, which is less than a third complete today, will be staffed by 6,500 full-time Reno-based employees and singlehandedly double the world’s production capacity for lithium-ion batteries, according to a new hiring forecast from Tesla.”