Snap Stock- Tesla Bull Cuts price Target Because of Batteries. Shares Rise Anyway.
bull is a little less bullish Monday. Battery technology is the main reason.
The cut isn’t having much impact on shares in midday trading. Tesla stock is up about 1.3% to $618 a share. The
DOW JONES GLO(BA)L/DJIA”>
Dow Jones Industrial Average,
for comparison, are down about 0.3% and 0.5%, respectively.
Even though he is still bullish on the company, Dorsheimer is wary about Tesla’s new batteries. In particular the larger 4680 cell design which promises better charge time, longer per-charge range and lower cost.
The 4680 refers to a cylindrical battery with a diameter of 46 millimeters and a length of 80 millimeters. Today’s Tesla’s have 2170 batteries. That’s 21 millimeter diameter and 70 millimeter length.
Tesla recently started delivering its Model S Plaid vehicle, billed as the fastest production car ever built. It can go zero to 60 miles per hour in under 2 seconds. But it also canceled the Plaid+ which was going to have longer per-charge range partly because of the new battery design.
Dorsheimer wrote that the Plaid+ “was reportedly going to be the first to feature the new 4680 cell design.” The cancellation “signals to us the new cell format isn’t ready for production just yet, and cell production capacity constraints for energy storage products like Powerwall remain.”
If the batteries aren’t ready yet, that’s a problem. Better batteries are a competitive advantage for electric-vehicle makers. Lower costs also allow Tesla to either charge less or make more money per car. Lower prices can expand the pool of Tesla buyers. Better profits, of course, are cheered by investors. And any battery-supply constraints could impact Tesla vehicle deliveries down the road. Wall Street expects Tesla to deliver 800,000 to 900,000 cars in 2021, up from about 500,000 cars in 2020.
Dorsheimer’s target-price cut lowered the analyst average for Tesla stock to $618 a share from $623.
Drops aren’t the norm recently. Tesla stock’s average analyst target price is up more than 830% from the start of 2018. The average analyst target price, however, has stopped rising since early February.
That’s also when bond yields started rising because of inflation fears. Higher bond yields hurt richly valued technology companies more than others for two reasons. Higher yields make it more costly to finance growth. It also reduces the present value of future cash flow. And growth companies generate most of their cash flow far in the future.
Investors are looking for a catalyst to snap Tesla stock out of its recent range. First quarter earnings didn’t do it. Neither has the launch of the Plaid. Production from new facilities in Texas and Germany, due to start around year end 2021, as well as the new batteries, could be what investors need.
Of course, they also need EV demand to stay strong and for interest rates to stay in a low, stable range.
Write to Al Root at [email protected]