Tesla Falls as Model S Stalls Out
Editor's Note: A previous version of this article mistakenly stated that Tesla was reporting earnings Monday; Tesla will report earnings February 20.
Shares of Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) were weaker early on Monday, dropping over three percent.
The source of the drop might have been this piece in the New York Times. The author, John Broder, details a road trip he attempted in a new Tesla Model S. Unfortunately, he struggled to complete the trip, as his Tesla ran out of charge. Ultimately, the car had to be towed after it shut down on the freeway.
Broder blamed the cold weather and the lack of adequate charging infrastructure for the Model S's poor driving range. Both issues have long been seen as fatal flaws for electric cars.
Green Car Report, for example, acknowledges what they refer to as the cold weather “myth.” Yet, Broder's experience would tend to conflict with their findings. Either way, if Broder's Tesla experience is in any way typical, the company might struggle to sell its vehicles to the broader public.
As for earnings, which the company is set to report February 20, analysts currently expect Tesla to report a loss of $0.53 per share on revenue of $298.90 million. More important than actual earnings results, however, might be the total volume of cars sold, as investors digest the success of Tesla's vehicles in the marketplace.
Shares of Tesla are up significantly over the last three months -- more than 25% -- and much of that gain has come in January.
Interestingly, Tesla had a short interest near 37% back on January 15. That may have come down somewhat, partially explaining the sharp rally in the shares during the second half of January.
Still, going into earnings, shares are likely heavily shorted. Traders might look for a short squeeze in after-hours trading if the company beats expectations.
Shares of Tesla traded near $38 early Monday.
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