Morgan Stanley piles pressure on Tesla with $10 worst case call

22 Mai, 2019, 02:52 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Tesla Inc. electric automobiles sit charging at a Tesla Supercharger station in Zaltbommel Netherlands on Monday

The moves come as Tesla's stock is under pressure from investors who are becoming skeptical of CEO Elon Musk's ability to turn a profit and keep the business growing, all while balancing demands of developing a self-driving ride system and building new products such as a small SUV, a pickup truck, a new roadster and an electric semi.

Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives wrote on Monday that he was concerned about Tesla's growth prospects and the demand for the Model 3 during the coming quarters.

Shares of Tesla Inc were on track for a fifth straight session of losses on Tuesday, as Morgan Stanley analysts outlined a worst case scenario that could see the electric carmaker's stock price fall as low as $10.

A Tesla Model 3 sedan, its first vehicle aimed at the mass market, is displayed during its launch in Hawthorne, California, U.S. March 31, 2016.

Shares dropped below eight percent to their lowest close since December 2016 last week after the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said that Tesla's autopilot driver assistance technology was active during a fatal crash.

The electric cars' producer may have over-saturated the retail market for battery electric vehicles outside of China, the analyst added.

"The departure of key executives, price discounting, and extraordinary cost-cutting efforts add to the narrative of a company facing real potential stress", Morgan Stanley's Jonas said. In 2017, he said the Tesla Network alone, Musk's plan for a robotaxi fleet, was worth $76 a share.

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The market action follows hot on the heels of a $2.7 billion (£2.1 billion) fundraising round by the company two weeks ago that was oversubscribed, but has done little to settle the nerves of holders of Tesla's existing debt.

Jonas, however, kept his equal-weight rating, a price target of $230 and also has a bull-case valuation of $391, a reflection of the split on Wall Street around the company.

The spread of its yield over Treasury securities, a gauge of the added compensation demanded by investors for holding Tesla rather than safer government debt, widened to almost 693 basis points. The credit is gradually being phased out for Tesla by the end of the year.

Tesla's 5.3 per cent bonds due 2025 now yield about nine per cent, according to Trace, well above the average yield for a B-rated company.

It was also among Wall Street's more heavily shorted stocks, with about a fifth of its float on the line. The median price target is $250.19, a fifth above the current market.

While cutting their price target, Baird analysts reiterated their outperform rating, saying Tesla was "positioned to outperform over the long run, as it increases profitability, generates free cash flow and ramps up production of innovating products".

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