Tesla (TSLA) will report first-quarter deliveries soon, while Wall Street weighs the effects of the global chip shortage on the electric vehicle maker. Tesla stock gave up gains.
The report is due as Tesla’s EV rivals also roll out Q1 numbers. On Thursday afternoon, Ford (F) reported Q1 sales, including 6,614 Mustang Mach-E electric crossover vehicles, an emerging rival to Tesla.
RBC Capital Markets Research analysts project Tesla deliveries of 170,000 units, including 164,800 Model 3/Y vehicles and 5,300 Model S/X vehicles. The total would represent a 92% increase from the year-ago period, but a 6% decline from the last quarter. RBC’s estimate is down from a previous view for 182,000 deliveries, as global chip and battery shortages squeeze EV makers.
Loup Venture’s Gene Munster says he expects Tesla to miss even those lowered estimates and sees deliveries around 160,000. But he added that investors should not worry because the causes of the shortfall are temporary.
Meanwhile, Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives says that despite the chip shortage, Tesla could exceed the 170,000 expected deliveries in Q1. The beat would “help restore some positive momentum back to Tesla and the EV sector,” Ives wrote in a recent note to clients.
Ives said consumer demand remained strong in both the U.S. and China. He said demand was especially robust in February and March in China.
“In China after a rocky start in the month of January, we believe Tesla was the benefit of share shifts vs. domestic players and thus puts the company now on a trajectory to handily exceed 800k units for the year,” Ives said.
For the first quarter of 2021, Wedbush raised its Model 3/Y estimate to 160,000 units from 132,000 units. It increased slightly its S/X models estimate to 14,000 units from 12,500 units, bringing the total to 174,000.
Tesla Stock Action
Shares turned negative to close down 0.9% at 661.75 on the stock market today. The relative strength line for Tesla stock also is rising again. Nio stock rallied 1.7%, Xpeng rose 1.2%, and Li Auto (LI) added 1%.
Even if Tesla sees a Q1 dip, Wall Street expects a quick rebound.
Ives boosted Tesla’s delivery estimates for Q2, pegging Model 3/Y deliveries at 166,000 vs. the prior view for 144,000. He sees Model S/X deliveries reaching 14,000 vs. about 13,000 previously, bringing the total unit estimate for the second quarter to 180,000 vs. 157,000.
“We are now modeling FY21 total unit annual deliveries to be 830,000 units vs. our prior number of 774,000 units,” Ives wrote.
Follow Adelia Cellini Linecker on Twitter @IBD_Adelia.
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