Is it time for Tesla’s stock price to catch down to its bond price once again?
Time for Musk to start buying again.
With his street low TSLA price target of $93/share, Vertical Group’s Gordon Johnson has rightfully earned himself the nickname of most bearish Tesla analyst on Wall Street, and according to some, Johnson was instrumental in facilitating yesterday’s bizarre $30 intraday swing in TSLA’s stock price from a 6% spike at the open on the “surprise” news the company had “hit” its 5000 Model 3 quota, to a confounding 3% drop shortly after noon (and today’s extended losses)
Speaking on Bloomberg TV, Johnson expressed numerous concerns about the company, mostly about its continued cash burn: “If they run out of cash, the stock will fall quickly. We think that is around the corner.” But more apropos to today’s Q2 delivery release, Johnson questioned whether some cars that left the factory were counted as produced but still needed further work prior to consumer delivery, the so-called “factory gated”, whose interpretation has prompted a mini scandal within the Teslarati on twitter.
Following his interview, and right around the time we learned that Tesla’s chief engineer Doug Field was not coming back from his “family time sabbatical”, Johnson sent out a note to clients in which he explained that while much had been made of TSLA hitting the all-important milestone of 5,000 Model 3 cars produced in the last week of June, he found 6 key aspects of TSLA’s numbers concerning.
Here are his concerns:
- Using FactSet numbers, Consensus was calling for 2Q18 TSLA Model 3 sales of 27.980K units, and total sales of 51.120K units; TSLA reported Model 3 sales of 18.440 units (a 34% shortfall) and total sales of 40.740 units (a 20% shortfall); stated differently, this represents Model 3 demand of just 1.418K cars/week in 2Q18; consequently, as we’ve stressed, as TSLA runs through its backlog of Model 3 reservations, we believe the company will become demand constrained rather than supply constrained (we expect this to occur at some point in 4Q18/1Q19 – see attached spreadsheet); stated differently, despite all the focus on Model 3 cars produced/week by the media today, we stress to our readers that just because TSLA makes a Model 3 car – with competition coming and buyers tired of “waiting”– does not mean demand for that car exists.
- TSLA mentioned that it reached 5,031 Model 3 cars of “factory gated” production in the last week of June; while the company said it has used the “factory gated” terminology all along, we were not able to find this term in any SEC filings or public transcripts; however, looking to Linkedin, it seems “factory gated” may mean cars that require further testing and quality inspection upon leaving the factory floor (Exhibit 1) – this would mean these cars are likely not “full production vehicles” in the traditional sense of auto industry terminology…