Tesla (TSLA) reports global first-quarter delivery and production numbers this week with analysts and observers speculating vehicle sales could decline to levels not seen in around a year as weak EV demand has taken its toll. TSLA shares fell early Monday.


With the first quarter done, Wall Street consensus currently expects Q1 deliveries of 457,000 units, according to FactSet. This number started last week at 471,000 and has steadily dropped ahead of Tesla announcing global delivery numbers. The 457,000 figure likely includes several analyst forecasts that haven’t been updated in weeks or months.

Actual predictions appear to be more around Tesla’s 422,875 number from Q1 2023. The global EV giant hit a record 484,507 deliveries in Q4 2023. The previous quarterly delivery record was in Q2 with 466,140.

Tesla announced Friday it had had produced six million cars, which led some observers to increase Q1 production estimates.

The EV giant is expected to report Q1 2024 deliveries Tuesday. Last year, Tesla reported first-quarter production and delivery numbers on April 2.

Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives, a longtime Tesla bull, cut his TSLA price target to 300, from 315, last week while calling the quarter a “nightmare” for Tesla. The analyst said he remains bullish on Tesla over the long term, despite “near-term dark storm demand clouds forming.”

Ives predicts Tesla deliveries of around 426,000 as the EV company has dealt with issues surrounding its Model 3 Highland upgrade in the U.S. along with slowing sales in Europe. However, Ives noted the “biggest and most concerning issue for Tesla” is China as “rising EV competition and a lingering price war has made this key market very challenging for Tesla the last year and especially this quarter.”

Ives wrote Wednesday that when Tesla reports global deliveries, it won’t be a “moment of celebration for the bulls and instead be a rip the Band-Aid quarter for Tesla investors.”

Meanwhile, Morgan Stanley’s Adam Jonas, another Tesla bull, cut his Q1 delivery estimate to 425,000, down from 469,000, on Wednesday. Jonas also lowered his full-year deliveries forecast to 1.95 million units.

Tesla China Rivals Nio, Li Auto, XPeng Rise On March Deliveries

Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi, who tends to be more bearish on TSLA, last week noted Tesla has experienced “soft” demand in China and Europe in Q1 along with “constrained” U.S. Model 3 production. Sacconaghi slashed his first-quarter deliveries forecast from 490,000 units to 426,000, the same as Wedbush’s Ives.

However, Troy Teslike, a respected source of delivery estimates and Tesla data tracking among retail Tesla investors, final Q1 estimate is for 409,000 deliveries. Teslike predicts Tesla produced 429,954 vehicles in Q1.

Tesla stock dropped around 0.7% to 174.44 during market action Monday.

Full-Year EPS Predictions But Q2 Looking Up?

With Q1 done, analyst consensus now has 2024 Tesla earnings firmly below 2023’s level. That signals another year of earnings declines for this growth stock. Wall Street currently expects Tesla earnings per share of just $2.87 in 2024, according to FactSet. That would be an 8% decline vs. last year’s $3.12.

Wall Street’s 2024 EPS consensus estimates for Tesla have now come down nearly 25% since the end of 2023. Some analysts believe earnings could drop even further, potentially around 2021 EPS of $2.26.

However, while first-quarter deliveries are expected to disappoint, Tesla business is expected to pick up in the second quarter with increased Model 3 and Cybertruck sales.

Wall Street currently forecasts Q2 deliveries of 510,000 units, according to FactSet. Troy Teslike’s estimates have second-quarter deliveries totaling 460,000, which would be slightly below Q2 2023 Teslike does have Cybertruck deliveries doubling from slightly more than 4,000 in Q1 to 8,160 in Q2 in the U.S. Teslike also has Model 3 sales in the U.S. growing 70% in the second quarter compared to Q1, as production improves.

Meanwhile, Tesla increased its U.S. prices for all Model Y trims on April 1. Tesla raised prices on Europe Model Y vehicles on March 22. In China, Tesla hiked prices on its entire Model Y line by around $690 on April.

To maintain sales momentum in 2023 in 2024, Tesla has aggressively cut vehicle prices and offered discounts. As a result, auto gross margins, which peaked at 30% in Q4 2021 amid industry chip shortages, have plunged well below 20%.

Tesla continues to have large discounts on inventory Model Y vehicles in the U.S. and other markets.

Tesla Stock Has Plunged In 2024, But At Least It’s Cheaper, Right? Nope

Tesla Stock Performance

Last week, Tesla stock advanced 2.9% to 175.79, booking a second consecutive weekly gain as the EV company started rolling out its latest Full Self-Driving (FSD) update to customers. TSLA shares are trading modestly below the 50-day moving average.

Emails from Chief Executive Elon Musk leaked on social media platforms showing he is making it mandatory in North America to install and activate the latest version of FSD on vehicles and take customers on a “short test ride before handing over the car.”

Tesla is also offering a one-month free trial of FSD in the U.S. for new purchases or existing EVs that are FSD capable.

On March 15, Tesla stock dropped 6.7% to 163.57, hitting new 2024 lows and levels not seen since May 2023. TSLA fell around 13% in March and is the biggest loser on the S&P 500 index so far in 2024.

The EV giant ranks eighth in the 35-member IBD Auto Manufacturers industry group. The stock has a 33 Composite Rating out of a best-possible 99. Tesla stock also has an 11 Relative Strength Rating and a 67 EPS Rating.

Please follow Kit Norton on X, formerly known as Twitter, @KitNorton for more coverage.


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