WALL STREET ANALYST TO ELON MUSK: ‘Prove us wrong’

Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk stands on the podium as he attends a forum on startups in Hong Kong, China January 26, 2016.

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Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk stands on the podium as he attends a forum on startups in Hong Kong, China January 26, 2016.
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Bobby Yip/Reuters

Wall Street is feeling more cautious about Tesla after the electric automaker once again missed production expectations for its newest Model 3 sedan.

But amid a price target cut, one Wall Street firm is urging Elon Musk to “prove us wrong.”

“While deliveries were short of expectations, it is clearly the Model 3 and its production rate going forward which is driving the equity and the focus of investor interest,” Evercore ISI analyst George Galliers said in a note to clients Wednesday, cutting his price target by 11% to $272 – in line with the stock’s price Wednesday morning.

“The TP reduction is largely a reflection of the on-going delays to the ramp to reach c10k units a week and a time when Model 3 gross margins begin to normalize, with scale.”

Evercore isn’t the only sell-side firm with newfound caution following Tesla’s miss of Model 3 production targets. At least five Wall Street firms polled by Bloomberg have announced or reiterated underperform or sell ratings on the stock, including major names like JPMorgan and Barclays.

Still, despite the stock losing 17% in the past month, the bulls believe in the electric automaker enough to keep the average target price at $324, according to Bloomberg – a 20% premium to where shares were trading Monday.

“While the company’s language is perhaps a little softer, in terms of absolute targets, it seems that Tesla is still roughly on track for its mid-year guidance despite Q1’s challenges and shortfalls,” Galliers said. “Nevertheless, we believe it is difficult to be more constructive on the stock until there is greater evidence supporting when the 5k units a week can be achieved.”

Shares of Tesla are up 2.4% Tuesday, but still down 14.5% this year.