Tesla’s Delivery Data Are Coming Soon

Tesla’s Delivery Data Are Coming Soon


The next hot-button topic for bulls and bears on Tesla stock is deliveries for the first quarter. The numbers are due this weekend.

It will be the first time Tesla will report delivery numbers since it slashed vehicle prices around the globe early this year. CEO Elon Musk said on the company’s fourth-quarter earnings conference call that “demand far exceeds production” and “we currently are seeing orders at almost twice the rate of production.”

The improvement in demand is a big reason that Tesla stock was up about 55% year to date, coming into Monday trading.

Tesla typically reports its quarterly delivery figures on the second day of the month. That will be Sunday if the pattern holds.

Wall Street is expecting the data to show about 420,000 units were delivered in the first quarter of 2023, up from about 405,000 in the fourth quarter of 2022.

That implies growth of about 4% from the prior quarter and about 35% compared with the roughly 310,000 vehicles delivered in the first quarter of 2022.

Barclays analyst Dan Levy believes Tesla will beat the consensus call of 420,000 vehicles and delivery roughly 425,000 cars. That would be enough to give the stock a boost, according to Levy.

He rates the shares at Buy and has a target of $275 for the price. Citi analyst Itay Michaeli has a Hold rating on shares, but raised his price target to $196 from $146 on Monday.

Recent data points, such as Chinese auto registration data, have been encouraging, wrote Michaeli. Registrations for Tesla vehicles in China, one proxy for demand in that country, have grown for four consecutive weeks.

Tesla also exports cars to Europe from its Chinese plant, so predicting total sales from Tesla’s Chinese plant in Shanghai is any given quarter is difficult.

Tesla’s Shanghai plant produced about 140,000 units in January and February combined. About 61,000 were delivered domestically with the rest exported. Tesla also makes vehicles in Fremont, Calif.; Austin, Texas; and Germany.

Not surprisingly, Tesla stock typically reacts better when deliveries exceed forecasts than when they fall short. Shares dropped about 12% on the first trading day of 2023 after fourth-quarter deliveries missed expectations. Wall Street was looking for about 420,000 units, roughly 15,000 more than the actual total.

Shares quickly recovered, however, and were at about $144 before Tesla reported its fourth-quarter numbers on Jan. 25. Tesla stock closed out 2022 at $123.18 a share and dropped to $108.10 after the delivery disappointment.

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