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Before the bell: A look at Tesla’s turbulent week on the stock market


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From the Model 3 delivery event to the Q3 earnings report, TSLA had quite the week on the NASDAQ.

The stock kicked off the week at a 1% increase after the Model 3 delivery event. As more of the information from the event resonated on Wall Street, the stock lowered a bit. While it was widely known that there would be levels of pricing, many were surprised at just how high some of the options went, expecting the whole shebang to cap out around $42,000 instead of the higher tiers the company offered. First photos of Tesla’s Model 3 online configurator revealed a starting price of $49,000 for first production cars and topping at nearly $60,000 for a fully optioned rear wheel drive version.

Adding to some of the week’s woes was news that the government incentives for the car are running out.

In previous securities filings, Tesla warned investors that changes to incentive programs “could have some impact on demand for our products and services.”

Combating the projections of some stock decreases is the fact that the Tesla Model 3 pricing is still pretty fair for the EV market. The Model 3 is one of the lowest cost EVs, while sporting one of the highest ranges on the market. By comparison, the Chevy Bolt that starts at $36,620 tops out at 238-miles of range while the premium Model 3 will have a 310-mile per charge driving range.

Also adding to the good news on the Tesla side is that those who have tried the Model 3 are pleased with it.

A Business Insider journalist who got to drive it said, “I drove it for no time at all, but I’ve driven pretty much every other all-electric car you can buy, and I can safely say that the Model 3 has no competition.”

The second quarter earnings report presented a perfect alignment of revenue, Model 3 gains and overall capital, which led to an immediate 2% jump and another another 6% gain in after-hours trading. The after-hours action demonstrated that the initial reaction to the numbers for Q2 2017 was hugely positive, with the stock hitting $345.

The stock opened Thursday at $346.50, a bump from Wednesday’s closing in the mid-320s.

Analysts at Baird Equity Research still view Tesla Inc ‘s stock as a “top pick for 2017”, with the firm’s Ben Kallo maintaining an Outperform rating on TSLA and an unchanged $368 price target.

Piper Jaffray Analyst Alexander Potter upped his price target for the EV company from $368 to $386 after the earnings call. Potter’s new price target implies an over 18% upside for TSLA, which has increased its price by over 50% since the start of 2017.

It isn’t smart to “bet against a story with this much momentum,” Potter told TheStreet.

It’s no surprise that analysts are more bullish than they were before after the earnings call and quarterly report where Tesla announced that it is “averaging over 1,800 net Model 3 reservations per day” since the handover event.

Automotive revenue slightly declined over the first quarter, while energy generation and storage grew 34%. Tesla attributed the gains in energy generation and storage to, “a greater percentage of cash sales and higher deployment of energy storage systems.”

Tesla also stated that, “Model S and Model X deliveries to increase in the second half of 2017, as compared to the first half of the year.”

While Tesla expects the Model 3 to carry a negative gross margin in Q3, they are expecting it to go positive in Q4. In Q3 the overall automotive gross margin is expected to dip below 20%, currently at 27.9%, before recovering and growing in Q4 and beyond.

Hedge fund managers lost more than half a billion dollars because of their bets against Tesla, according to a CNBC report, so to say the stock created a shockwave would be an understatement.

Tesla closed yesterday at $347.09, a significant up from Wednesday’s $325.89.

It has been a wild week for the EV giant for sure. The stock should be a little quieter today and going into the weekend, but with CEO Elon Musk at the helm, a new game-changing announcement could come at any time.


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