One of Morgan Stanley’s most optimistic Tesla stock analysts has cut his stock price target for the company to below current trading prices.
Morgan Stanley automotive analyst Adam Jonas, one of Teslas biggest bulls, has dropped his price target for Elon Musk’s electric car company from $376 to $291, below the company’s trading price at the close of market on Monday. This is the first time that Jonas has dropped his target below Tesla’s current trading price in months, according to Business Insider.
Jonas told clients on Tuesday:
While 1Q18 results were broadly in line with consensus expectations (and slightly above our forecasts), we are making material reductions to our earnings estimates to reflect lingering manufacturing issues with the Model 3 – most recently at Fremont final assembly. It is our view that the challenges in ramping up Model 3 production reflect fundamental issues of vehicle design, manufacturing process, and automation levels that can weigh against the profitability of the vehicle.
Tesla has faced huge production issues in recent months, falling short of their new Model 3 car production targets for the first quarter. The company’s goal was 9,766 Model 3 vehicles produced in the quarter but it only produced 8,180 cars. Tesla is hoping to produce 5,000 cars a week by the end of their second quarter. The company has also faced some negative PR due to recent crashes in their cars.
Tesla’s Senior Vice President of Engineering also announced recently that he would be taking a leave of absence from the company, at a time when the car manufacturer is rushing to meet production deadlines. Company CEO Elon Musk also recently announced that a restructuring of the company would be taking place, stating in a company-wide email:
To ensure that Tesla is well prepared for the future, we have been undertaking a thorough reorganization of our company. As part of the reorg, we are flattening the management structure to improve communication, combining functions where sensible and trimming activities that are not vital to the success of our mission. To be clear, we will continue to hire rapidly in critical hourly and salaried positions to support the Model 3 production ramp and future product development.
Musk reportedly believes that this company reorganization will help them to become profitable this year, but Jonas was unconvinced, saying:
We have increased our estimate for Tesla’s capital raising from $2.5bn to $3.0bn, which we continue to expect in 3Q18. We see Tesla as trading near fair value with a balanced risk reward,and believe that is subject to extremely high levels of fundamental execution risk, market/funding risk,and a highly volatile share price.