Tesla shares down on slimming margins, Cybertruck concerns

Tesla CEO Elon Musk and design leader Franz von Holzhausen show their latest Cybertruck design at a factory grand opening in Austin, Texas.

Source: Tesla

Shares of electric auto maker Tesla fell by nearly 10% on Thursday, after investors soured on initially positive results due to imprecise commentary from CEO Elon Musk and other executives on the company’s latest vehicle, the Cybertruck, and a planned robotaxi-ready car.

The performance marks the worst day for Tesla’s stock in three months.

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Musk also cautioned that while the company would “continue to target 1.8 million vehicle deliveries this year,” Tesla also expected that “Q3 production will be a little bit down because we’ve got summer shutdowns” for what the CEO described as “a lot of factory upgrades.”

Analysts also highlighted concerns with Tesla’s margin “headwinds,” which at 9.6% was the lowest result for at least the last five quarters.

“We believe there could continue to be margin headwinds in the intermediate term if Tesla lowers prices to support higher volumes,” Mark Delaney of Goldman Sachs said in a Wednesday note

Tesla stock has recovered slightly off of its overnight lows but remains depressed compared with Wednesday’s closing price of $291.26. Tesla beat on the top and bottom lines, reporting revenue of $24.93 billion and earnings of 91 cents per share, adjusted, for the quarter ended June 30, 2023.

Early this month, Tesla reported 466,140 total vehicle deliveries for the second quarter, the closest approximation of sales that Tesla reports. But Musk didn’t offer precise delivery volumes for the new Cybertruck, only saying on the company’s earning call that the Cybertruck would be produced “in high volume next year,” with an unknown quantity being delivered in 2023.

Cybertruck “factory tooling” is on track but the company is only producing “release candidate” builds, the company said in its earnings presentation.

— CNBC’s Lora Kolodny and Michael Bloom contributed to this report.

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