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GOLDMAN SACHS: Tesla's new big rig won't solve its Model 3 problems (TSLA)

Joe Ciolli
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Reuters / Rebecca Cook


  • On Thursday night, Tesla unveiled its new electric semi truck and high-end Roadster model.
  • Goldman Sachs analyst David Tamberrino is still bearish on Tesla's stock at current levels due to continued production issues around the Model 3 sedan.


Tesla's shares may be climbing after the company unveiled its new electric semi truck and high-end Roadster, but not everyone is so optimistic.

Goldman Sachs analyst David Tamberrino is one of those skeptics, because he just can't get past the production bottleneck hanging over the Model 3 sedan. He says that the longer-term drag from Model 3 issues will more than offset the short-term gains being driven by the new product announcements.

"We expect shares to see some upward movement in trading as a result of Tesla’s new prototypes," Tamberrino wrote in a client note on Friday morning. "That said, our focus remains on near-term production constraints on the Model 3, where we continue to forecast a much lower production ramp than the company — driving our Sell rating."

Tamberrino sees Tesla's stock plunging roughly 34% to $205 per share over the next six months. And as he mentioned above, a big part of his bearish argument is that the Tesla's already-trimmed Model 3 forecasts still don't reflect just how much trouble the company will have meeting production targets. In late October, the company said that it was behind on its planned ramp-up for the Model 3, having only produced 260 sedans in the third quarter after targeting 1,500 for September alone.

Such a stock drop would certainly be welcome news for short sellers betting on a decline in Tesla's shares. While they've made almost $1 billion shorting the company in the fourth quarter, they're still down about $3.2 billion on a mark-to-market basis in 2017 as Tesla's stock has soared 46%, according to data compiled by financial-analytics firm S3 Partners.

Still, Tamberrino was impressed with some aspects of Tesla's new semi truck. Here's a summary of his thoughts on the vehicle:

  • The semi's minimum range of 500 miles is "well above" previously reported figures, giving it potential for longer-haul capability.
  • The total cost of ownership for the semi will be $1.26 per mile, which is lower than the $1.51 for diesel trucks.
  • The vehicle's autonomous features could lower costs even further as incremental labor expenses are eliminated.
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