Tesla’s shares plunged by 9% after the electric automaker released its third-quarter results, which fell short of Wall Street’s estimates. The company reported revenue of $23.35 billion and earnings of 66 cents per share, adjusted, marking the first time Tesla had missed both earnings and revenue estimates since the second quarter of 2019. During the quarterly call with investors, CEO Elon Musk expressed concerns about the high-interest rate environment and its impact on consumers’ ability to purchase cars, contributing to the share price decline.
Musk said Tesla is working to bring down the costs of its vehicles, which it will prioritize before the company goes “full-tilt” on building a new factory in Mexico.
“We have to make our products more affordable so people can buy them,” Musk said on the call.
Bank of America analysts reiterated their neutral rating on Tesla’s stock and lowered their estimates for the company’s fourth quarter and subsequent years, citing its “lower gross margin profile.” They also found it interesting that Elon Musk spent a significant amount of time discussing the broader macroeconomic environment, particularly the impact of high interest rates. Morgan Stanley analysts noted that while Tesla’s disappointing third-quarter results were a factor, the cautious commentary on the economy significantly influenced the stock’s immediate reaction.
During the investor call, Musk also said he wanted to “temper expectations for Cybertruck,” Tesla’s sci-fi-inspired truck. He noted that it will take a year or longer before the vehicle is a “significant positive cash flow contributor,” and that the vehicle will be challenging to mass-manufacture.
“We dug our own grave with Cybertruck,” Musk said.
Musk’s commentary was enough to worry analysts at Deutsche Bank.
“Tesla’s 3Q earnings miss and cautious forward-looking comments around vehicle demand, 2024 growth outlook, slow and expensive ramp of Cybertruck, and uncertain timeline of next-gen platform, reinforce our published concerns on the company’s challenging fundamentals heading into next year,” the Deutsche Bank analysts wrote in a note Thursday.
The analysts said they have continued concerns over Tesla’s 2024 growth.