Tesla, Inc. TSLA is a little more than a week away from the launch of its widely-touted Cybertruck but analysts have given cold shoulder to the electric pick-up truck.
What Happened: Tesla CEO Elon Musk had a deprecating reaction to Jefferies analyst Philippe Houchois’ comments on Monday about Cybertruck. When a Tesla influencer shared a story that summarized the analyst’s comments, the billionaire reacted with a clown emoji.
So, what led Musk to blow the top? The analyst called the Cybetruck an “off-mission product” that is being launched at a time the company appears to be on a “slow track” at least for the next 12-18 months. The analyst sees 2024 as an already “lost year” from the perspective of growth. Cybertruck cancellation, according to the analyst, would help Tesla refocus on an "edge that was built on simplicity, scale and speed.”
Tesla fans also expressed their disapproval. One of them asked whether Houchois was working for GM or Ford. Another chimed in and said, “This will turn out to be one of the worst calls by an analyst in the history of modern investment.”
Why It’s Important: Despite the skepticism over the Cybertruck, Houchois said he is positive about Tesla’s long-term potential. In the long run, Tesla will be among one of a handful of global low-cost producers and will benefit from the continued increased battery electric vehicle adoption, he said.
The analyst maintained his Neutral rating on the Tesla stock and cut the 12-month price target from $250 to $210, citing tempered EBIT and free cash flow expectations for 2024 and 2025.
Deepwater Asset Management’s Gene Munster said in his preview of the Cybertruck launch that he was more worried about the capacity and as a result he is modeling only very modest incremental growth from the vehicle.
Reports also suggest Tesla might deliver only a handful of Cybertrucks at the launch event scheduled for November 30. Meanwhile, Martin Viecha, Tesla’s VP of Investor Relations, said on X, formerly Twitter, that a second batch of retail investor invites for the Cybertruck delivery event have just been sent out.
Tesla closed Monday’s session up 0.55% at $235.60, according to Benzinga Pro data.
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