Tesla tumbles 7% after producing a disappointing number of vehicles last quarter (TSLA)

Tesla employeeNg Han Guan/Associated Press

  • Shares of Tesla traded as much as 7% lower on Thursday morning after the company reported disappointing vehicle-production data.
  • The electric carmaker said on Wednesday that it produced 96,155 vehicles and delivered 97,000 during the third quarter, setting a company record and falling toward the low-end of analysts' consensus estimates of 95,000 to 100,000. 
  • "Our delivery count should be viewed as slightly conservative, as we only count a car as delivered if it is transferred to the customer and all paperwork is correct," Tesla said in a press release
  • Watch Tesla trade live.

Tesla's stock price fell as much as 7% on Thursday morning after the company reported disappointing vehicle-production data on Wednesday. 

Third-quarter production reached 96,155 vehicles while Tesla delivered 97,000, setting a company record and hitting the low-end of Wall Street's consensus estimates of 95,000 to 100,000.

Here's the breakdown from Tesla's press release: 

  • Model S/X: 16,318 produced, 17,400 delivered
  • Model 3: 79,837 produced, 79,600 delivered

"Our delivery count should be viewed as slightly conservative, as we only count a car as delivered if it is transferred to the customer and all paperwork is correct," Tesla said in the release. " Final numbers could vary by up to 0.5% or more." 

The company also said its heading into the fourth quarter with an increase in its order backlog. Tesla previously announced it hopes to deliver between 360,000 and 400,000 cars in 2019. 

According to Needham analyst Rajvindra S. Gill, Tesla has delivered about 255,000 vehicles so far this year and the company would need to ship more than 104,000 cars in the fourth quarter in order to reach the low-end of its target. 

"We are skeptical of its ability to record such a high number of deliveries given the competitive pressure in Europe and declining tax credits,"  Gill said in a note to clients on Thursday. 

In a leaked email last week, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the company had a chance to deliver more than 100,000 cars in the third quarter. 

Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives said the most important number from the company's release was the better-than-expected Model 3 deliveries, which remains the "linchpin of the Tesla growth story for the coming years." Wall Street estimated Model 3 deliveries would be 77,010 for the period. 

Shares of Tesla are down close to 27% year-to-date through Wednesday's close. 

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