Tesla stock (NASDAQ:TSLA) dropped 4% on Friday as the electric car maker continued to feel the aftermath of its Q1 financial report. As Tesla hit 2-year lows, Wall Street continued to be polarized about the company, with bears piling on the skepticism and TSLA bulls remaining firm in their support for the electric car maker.
Seemingly smelling blood in the water, Tesla bears continued their attacks on the company. Gabe Hoffman, founder of Accipiter Capital Management and a Tesla short, called Elon Musk a “lying magician” during a segment of Yahoo Finance‘s The Ticker. Garrett Nelson, CFRA senior research analyst, noted that the company’s guidance looks “unrealistic” and a “problem going forward.” Longtime TSLA bull Dan Ives from Wedbush also wrote a scathing note following Tesla’s Q1 earnings call, describing the first quarter as a “top debacle.”
While the current state of Tesla stock does not inspire much confidence, some of the company’s bulls have remained supportive of the electric car maker. Jefferies analyst Philippe Houchois noted that while there is “ongoing stress,” for Tesla, he saw “enough positive surprises from auto gross margin resilience, cash earnings, and gross liquidity to argue the shares have sufficiently re-priced.” Houchois admitted that his current call might be “hard to live with at times,” but he maintained that he sees value in Tesla’s electric vehicle/connectivity technology and implementation.
Arguably taking an unpopular opinion, the Jefferies analyst stated that he remained confident that “there is a path to sustained profitability” for the electric car maker. Houchois ultimately kept his “Buy” rating on TSLA stock, as well as a very optimistic $400 price target.
ARK Invest CIO Cathie Wood, a long-term TSLA bull, discussed Tesla’s first quarter results in a segment of CNN‘s First Move. According to Wood, the electric car maker’s Q1 numbers might be provocative, but they are not really a surprise. “The numbers looked provocative. I will say that from the get-go. But we knew this was going to be a tough quarter. We knew they were retooling. We knew that they were going to pay back the convertible notes. So there’s going to be a cash drain. I don’t think there were too many surprises,” she said.
In a rather interesting twist, Craig Irwin of Roth Capital Partners, has turned less bearish on Tesla following the Q1 earnings call. Irwin is a Tesla critic, recently claiming that the electric car maker will be in trouble because of competition from legacy auto. In a segment on CNBC‘s Squawk Box, Irwin explained why he currently rates Tesla as a hold. “(The Q1 results were) very much as telegraphed. I mean, we’ve known the units for a while. Nothing gets me more constructive here, but frankly, I’m not more bearish. I just think that the probability of an equity offering or some capital access is much, much higher with the cash position down as much as it was,” he said.
With Friday’s 4% drop, TSLA shares have now fallen 29% in 2019. Tesla’s market cap has also declined from $63 billion in mid-December to $40.8 billion. Wall Street analysts currently expect the electric car maker’s revenue to expand 19% in 2019, far less than the 83% growth it exhibited in 2018 and the 68% growth in 2017, according to Refinitiv.
As of writing, Tesla stock is trading 4.77% at $235.81.
Disclosure: I have no ownership in shares of TSLA and have no plans to initiate any positions within 72 hours.
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