Tesla shares (TSLA) dropped sharply on January 3, the year’s first day of trading, continuing a downward trend that saw the stock plunge 70 percent last year.
The shares lost 12.6 percent of their value closing at $108.06, the lowest point since August 2020; the company’s market value slid to $338 billion, down from over $1 trillion as recently as April. The share price decline comes a day after Tesla reported vehicle production and delivery numbers for the fourth quarter 2022 and the full year.
While the 2022 numbers represented records for the EV maker – growth of 47 percent in production to 1.37 million vehicles and 40 percent in deliveries to 1.31 million – they fell short of analysts’ expectations.
CNBC reports that Wall Street was expecting Tesla to report around 427,000 deliveries for the final quarter of 2022, whereas the carmaker reported 405,278 deliveries. Some analysts believe Tesla’s deliveries miss spell trouble for the company, while others see a buying opportunity for the company in 2023.
The failure to meet delivery targets in Q4 came despite a major year-end sales push that included $7,500 discounts in the US on the Model Y and Model 3, the company’s best-selling models. Tesla also offered discounts in China, leading some to question whether demand for its vehicles is waning. Deliveries for the full year also fell shy of Elon Musk’s pledge to grow deliveries by 50 percent every year.
Tesla shares suffered an extreme yearlong sell-off in 2022, prompting CEO Elon Musk to tell employees in late December not to be “too bothered by stock market craziness.”
Musk has blamed Tesla’s declining share price in part on rising interest rates, but critics see the $44 billion Twitter takeover and his sale of Tesla stock to help fund the purchase as a bigger cause for the slide. Musk sold $3.58 billion worth of Tesla stock last month, offloading nearly $23 billion worth of his Tesla shares since April, when he started proceedings to acquire Twitter.
In what is likely an effort to shore up the stock price, Tesla announced on January 2 that it would hold an investor day event on March 1 at its plant near Austin, Texas. Investors will be able to see Tesla’s production line, discuss expansion plans and see the platform that will underpin the carmaker’s next generation of vehicles.
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