Tesla’s Q1 Earnings Preview: Analysts Express Caution As They Seek Clarity on Robotaxis and Model 2, Questioning Its ‘Growth Stock’ Status

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Tesla’s Q1 Earnings Preview: Analysts Express Caution As They Seek Clarity on Robotaxis and Model 2, Questioning Its ‘Growth Stock’ Status

Tesla Q1 Earnings Preview: Is EV Giant No Longer A ‘Growth Stock?’ Analysts Cautious, Want Answers About Robotaxis, Model 2

Leading electric vehicle company Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) reports first-quarter financial results after market close Tuesday, April 23.

Here are the key earnings estimates, what analysts are saying and key items to watch.

Earnings Estimates: Analysts expect Tesla to report first-quarter revenue of $22.34 billion, according to data from Benzinga Pro. The company reported revenue of $23.33 billion in last year’s first quarter.

Tesla has beaten revenue estimates from analysts in three of the last five quarters.

Analysts expect Tesla to report earnings per share of 51 cents in the first quarter, compared to 85 cents reported in last year’s first quarter. Over the past five quarters, Tesla beat analysts’ earnings per share two times, missed two times and was even one time.

Tesla missed revenue and earnings per share estimates in the past two quarters compared to estimates from analysts.

In its fourth-quarter financial results, the company said it was between growth waves.

“In 2024, our vehicle growth rate may be notably lower than the growth rate achieved in 2023,” the company said.

Related Link: Tesla Q4 Earnings Highlights: Revenue Miss, EPS Miss, Model Y A Global Bestseller, Next-Gen Vehicle Update And More

What Analysts Are Saying: Tesla had several well-known issues that would factor into the first quarter earnings results, Bank of America analyst John Murphy said in a new investor note.

“TSLA stock has been under material pressure due to both weaker EV fundamentals and sentiment around the electrification theme,” Murphy said.

The analyst had a Neutral rating and price target of $220 on Tesla.

Murphy said the focus from investors would be on demand and future growth plans from Tesla.

“Despite near-term pressures, the unveiling of future growth drivers has the potential to support the stock.”

Growth items from Murphy included Robotaxis and Model 2, which he said could be enough to support the stock. The analyst didn’t expect any key announcements on Tuesday as management doesn’t like to mix financial results with product unveilings.

“However, we believe the company may provide some hints on the Robotaxi event currently scheduled for August 8 and may also reiterate its intention to launch the Model 2 in 2025/2026.”

Murphy said the new flows for Tesla weighed on the stock and had investors worried about the “growth implications for what is viewed to be a ‘growth’ stock.”

Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives recently said the first quarter conference call and commentary could have a huge impact on the stock as the “moment of truth” for Tesla and CEO Elon Musk.

Ives, who has an Outperform rating and price target of $300 said Tesla faced difficult times in the past, naming the 2015, 2018 and 2020 years as examples. Without a new strategy outlook on Tuesday’s conference call, Ives sees “darker days” for Tesla’s stock ahead.

“Next week’s conference call and messaging one of the most important moments in the company’s history in our view,” Ives previously said.

Here are other recent analyst ratings for Tesla stock and their price targets.

Piper Sandler: Overweight rating, $205 price target

Deutsche Bank: Downgrade from Hold to Buy, lowered price target from $189 to $123

Baird: Outperform rating, $280 price target

Barclays: Equal-Weight rating, lowered price target from $225 to $180

Wells Fargo: Underweight rating, lowered price target from $125 to $120

Citigroup: Neutral rating, lowered price target from $196 to $180

Key Items to Watch: Demand will be a key in the first quarter earnings results as the company recently announced additional price cuts.

First-quarter deliveries and production of 386,810 units and 433,371 units, respectively, were declines on year-over-year and quarter-over-quarter basis. The figures were also below estimates from analysts.

Recent reports suggested Tesla was pausing its Model 2 next-gen vehicle launch. While Musk called the reports false, there was not a current timeline update on when the vehicle would be launched. Investors will be looking for a confirmation that the vehicle was coming soon and had not been pushed back.

The company previously said after its fourth-quarter financial results that it was “focused on bringing the next-generation platform to market as quickly as we can.”

Investors will also be looking for a hint at what an August robotaxi news update could look like and if Tesla was ready to share more on its artificial intelligence initiatives.

With the Cybertruck not broken out individually yet in quarterly sales reports, investors were also keen to know how the vehicle was selling and where reservations lie after millions were previously reserved ahead of the launch.

Recent layoffs by the company could also be a topic of concern from investors and an area addressed by the company in the quarterly comments.

TSLA Price Action: Tesla stock closed down 3.40% to $142.05 on Monday, which came as shares hit new 52-week lows of $138.80 during the intraday session. Tesla shares are down 18.6% over the past year and down 43.6% year-to-date in 2024.

Read Next: Tesla Stock Faces Challenges In 2024, 2025: Analyst Highlights This Key Future Item, ‘We Still Think TSLA Warrants A Place In Clients’ Portfolios’

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This article Tesla Q1 Earnings Preview: Is EV Giant No Longer A ‘Growth Stock?’ Analysts Cautious, Want Answers About Robotaxis, Model 2 originally appeared on Benzinga.com

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