Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) stock rose over 5% on Tuesday amidst the release of investment firm Credit Suisse’s adjusted delivery estimates for the electric car maker’s Q1 numbers. Credit Suisse estimated 75,000 and 80,000 deliveries for Tesla, a number that may very well be feasible due to the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Interestingly enough, Credit Suisse actually reiterated its “Underperform” rating and $415 price target on TSLA stock together with its updated Q1 estimates, as reported by StreetInsider. Yet despite this, TSLA stock has risen, which may be due to the fact that Tesla actually has a realistic chance of reaching the firm’s estimates despite a slow production quarter due to the widespread effect of the coronavirus.
Tesla’s Giga Shanghai in China, for example, was reopened in early February after an extended shutdown due to the onset of the coronavirus in China. The company’s main production facility in Fremont, California was also subjected to a production shutdown as COVID-19 began to hit the United States.
Meanwhile, Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas has suggested that the coronavirus will affect Tesla’s delivery figures, though his estimates are a bit more conservative than Credit Suisse’s expectations. Jonas believes 88,000 Tesla vehicles will be delivered when the first quarter comes to a close, a number that exceeds the Swiss firm’s predictions by about 10%.
Jonas noted that Tesla will still hold a relatively strong showing for Q1 deliveries, even though the company will not be able to take advantage of its increased delivery rate during the last two weeks of the quarter, a strategy that has become somewhat expected. “Tesla typically delivers a disproportionate share of its quarter’s units in the last two weeks of the quarter,” Jonas said in a report to investors according to Barron’s.
While production at Fremont was shut down recently, Tesla employees still delivered some vehicles earlier in March. Tesla recently started delivering its new Model Y crossover this month as well, even adapting a new “contactless” system at some of its stores across the world.
Tesla closed out 2019 with a strong final quarter by delivering 112,000 cars, a majority of them being the Model 3 sedan. While delivery figures will most likely be smaller in the first quarter of 2020 because of the global pandemic, Tesla can still take positives from the quarter. Despite closing multiple production facilities, the company will probably still deliver more vehicles than it did in Q1 2019, a potential year-over-year growth compared to last year.
All is not grim and dark in the Tesla world. Automotive industry veteran Sandy Munro has predicted that Tesla will be the quickest automaker to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic due to the company’s vertical integration. If the pandemic manages to end within the next month, Tesla could still churn out a productive Q2 by ramping up to full production quicker than any other automaker.
Tesla shares are up 5.59% at $530.21 per share.
Disclosure: I have no ownership in shares of TSLA and have no plans to initiate any positions within 72 hours.