Buy rating reaffirmed ahead of earnings data
Deutsche Bank analysts have reaffirmed a Buy rating for electric vehicle maker Tesla (TSLA) while lowering the 12-month price forecast for shares to $260 from $275, according to a report published ahead of fourth quarter earnings and deliveries.
The bankers predict Tesla will report Q4 delivery figures close to the 476,000 vehicle projection, which would bring full-year deliveries to around 1.8 million cars - in line with company estimates. However, analysts are bracing for a pullback in the 2024 market consensus given foreseeable limited production growth next year.
Tesla has said it is transitioning to a period of slower expansion following high growth over the past five years driven primarily by Models 3 and Y. While these vehicles are nearing peak output, the company is preparing to launch an advanced new platform anticipated to power the next phase of major increases, according to the report.
"While Q4 deliveries are projected to meet views, analysts cite perceived risk to profits," said the Deutsche Bank report.
Current projections peg Q4 revenue at approximately $24.7 billion - marginally below the original $24.9 billion figure and consensus estimates of $25.5 billion, according to the report. This revision stems from lower average selling price assumptions.
Meanwhile, automotive gross margin for the quarter is projected to be 16.2 percent, a slight 0.1 percentage point decrease from prior due to US model price cuts and existing vehicle promotions plus incentives, though gains in China partly offset the impacts, according to Deutsche Bank.
The bankers also lowered their Q4 earnings per share forecast to $0.69 from $0.74, below the current $0.74 average estimate from other analysts.
Tesla is scheduled to report final Q4 financials later this month, the report noted. As of mid-Thursday trading, shares had gained 3.29 percent.