Tesla stock up after Elon Musk says new affordable EV models coming

on Apr24
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Tesla skepticism remains centered on potential new models, says Bernstein's Toni Sacconaghi

Tesla shares surged more than 10% on Wednesday after CEO Elon Musk said the electric-vehicle company plans to begin production of new affordable EV models by early 2025.

Musk’s comments came during Tesla’s earnings call on Tuesday after the company reported disappointing first-quarter numbers. Revenue fell 9% year over year, its steepest annual decline since 2012.

The company previously expected to start production of the new EV models in the second half of 2025. Tesla has not disclosed any details about affordable new models in the works. Typically, the company promotes design concepts years ahead of production in “unveiling” events.

Tesla reported 45 cents in adjusted earnings per share on $21.3 billion in revenue, falling short of the 51 cents in expected earnings per share and $22.15 billion in expected sales, per LSEG.

Revenue dropped from $23.3 billion a year before and from $25.17 billion in the previous quarter.

Analysts of Bank of America said in an investor note Wednesday that Tesla’s first-quarter results and leadership’s commentary “addressed key concerns” and “revitalized the growth narrative,” prompting them to upgrade the stock from neutral to buy while maintaining their $220 price target.

Elon Musk speaks onstage during The New York Times Dealbook Summit 2023 at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City, Nov. 29, 2023.

Slaven Vlasic | Getty Images

They also expressed bullish optimism that Tesla demonstrated a positive business outlook as it prepares to launch new vehicle models and license its driver assistance system.

“In the near-term the tide in news flow appears to suggest the risk to the stock is skewing more positively,” the analysts wrote.

UBS analysts on Tuesday reiterated their neutral rating of Tesla stock and lowered their price target to $147 from $160, saying they remain skeptical of the company’s talk.

“Increasingly, TSLA is a play on autonomy, and while progress is being made, we are cautious on near-term viability,” they wrote in a note. “We see limited growth for current lineup and lack of clarity on what these ‘new vehicles’ could bring.”

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

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