January 27, 2023

Tesla shares slide after Q3 revenue miss, Bernstein says earnings call ‘didn’t sit well with us’

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is trying to buy Twitter and manage multiple companies at the same time.

James Glover II | Reuters

Shares of Tesla slid about 6% Thursday morning as investors digested the company’s third-quarter earnings report from Wednesday evening.

Tesla reported earnings of $1.05 per share, beating expectations of 99 cents a share. Revenue came in light at $21.45 billion, which missed analysts’ expectations of $21.96 billion.

The company said on its earnings call that, while it expects 50% annual growth in production this year, its deliveries may fall just under 50% growth “due to an increase in the cars in transit at the end of the year.”

Still, Musk was bullish on the earnings call, noting that the company is “pedal to the metal” even with a potential recession looming.

“I can’t emphasize enough we have excellent demand for Q4 and we expect to sell every car that we make for as far into the future as we can see,” Musk said. “The factories are running at full speed and we’re delivering every car we make, and keeping operating margins strong.”

Musk’s comments “didn’t sit well” with Bernstein senior research analyst Toni Sacconaghi.

“Aside from the financials, the earnings call didn’t sit well with us,” Sacconaghi said in a note on Thursday. “Answers to many questions on the earnings call were curt and almost dismissive, with CEO Musk instead repeatedly making very bold prognostications about Tesla’s future and capabilities.”

Sacconaghi, who has a underperform rating on Tesla, set his 12-month price target at $150, which would translate into a nearly 30% fall from Wednesday’s close of $222.04.

CNBC’s Michael Bloom contributed report.

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