RBC Joins Tesla Analysts in Warning of Risk of Delivery Weakness

(Bloomberg) -- As Tesla Inc.’s tumultuous first quarter draws to an end, another Wall Street analyst cautioned that the company’s vehicle deliveries for the period may disappoint.

RBC Capital Markets’ Joseph Spak became the latest to lower his delivery estimates on Monday, citing “meager demand” and some Model 3 delivery issues abroad. Spak now expects Tesla to report deliveries of 52,500 Model 3s, down from a prior 57,000 estimate. “Overall, for 2019 we now forecast about 261,000 Model 3s, down from 268,000 prior,” the analyst wrote in a note to clients.

The cut follows a similar move by Cowen’s Jeffrey Osborne on Friday. Both analysts have the equivalent of sell ratings on Tesla shares. Earlier this month, InsideEVs -- a blog which tracks electric vehicle production around the world -- said Tesla’s U.S. sales slowed considerably in the first two months of the year. Tesla typically reports quarterly delivery and production data within a few days of the end of the period.

It’s so far been a tough year for Tesla, with multiple job cuts fueling concerns about sputtering demand, and the company’s decision to lower prices prompting investor anxiety about its ability to grow profits. Spak, who trimmed his price target on the stock to $210 from $245, now expects 2019 Model 3 gross margin of 17 percent versus 19.5 percent previously.

Wall Street’s bears aren’t the only ones worried about U.S. demand. JMP Securities analyst Joseph Osha, who has the equivalent of a buy rating on Tesla, reduced his estimates and price target on Monday in part due to “continued weakness in the U.S. market for the company’s products.”

Tesla fell 3.3 percent at 9:56 a.m. in New York, extending a two-day slump.

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