Tesla Continues Slide in Premarket After HSBC Sets $146 PT
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Tesla Continues Slide in Premarket After HSBC Sets $146 PT

Tesla stock dipped more than 5% on Thursday following HSBC's downbeat price target and rating on the EV stock.
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HSBC (LON: HSBA) opened its coverage of Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) on Thursday, issuing a price target of $146 and a ‘reduce’ rating on the stock as it questioned its valuation, given its many unfulfilled ambitions. Tesla shares fell 5.5% on Thursday to $209.98 and have continued their slide in the premarket trading session today.

‘Ideas need to become a reality,’ HSBC Says

Tesla shares fell more than 5% on Thursday after HSBC Global began its stock coverage, which was, at least this time, mostly bearish. 

The bank’s first coverage of the electric vehicle (EV) giant’s stock was marked by a ‘reduce’ rating and a price target of $146, implying a potential downside of more than 30% from the company’s current share price. Intriguingly, analysts at HSBC said Tesla’s co-founder and CEO Elon Musk is both an asset and a risk to the company, describing him as a  “charismatic CEO with a cult-like following” who “feeds into the innovator narrative.”

HSBC strategists noted several key factors behind their bearish coverage, including “significant delays or developments that show lack of technological and/or regulatory feasibility for a commercial launch” of the carmaker’s numerous ambitious tech projects. These include its overdue driverless system, humanoid robots, and, most recently, supercomputers.

The analysts noted that there is not much to support Tesla’s current lofty valuation apart from many unfulfilled promises. 

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HSBC’s Bullish Case for Tesla

On the other hand, HSBC’s first coverage of Tesla also included several bullish points.

Most notably, the strategists wrote that the company’s core automotive business now “faces fewer challenges than the incumbents and as such, deserves a premium.” Electric vehicles are still a growth market and will likely remain the case for decades. Tesla is already the leader in this industry, and considering its ambitions and future plans, it “is likely to remain so,” analysts said. 

Additionally, if Tesla sees faster-than-anticipated development in these areas, it could lead to a re-rating of the carmaker’s multiples. This also goes for “higher than expected market share gains driven by the price cuts we expect” in its core EV business. Naturally, whether these bullish predictions will come to fruition significantly depends on whether Tesla can fulfill its ambitious plans and prove that it is not solely an auto company

The carmaker’s shares have been downward lately, particularly after its latest earnings report showed a considerable profit margin drop. The reduced profitability resulted from a series of price cuts Tesla imposed throughout 2023 to spur demand. 

Do you think Tesla will successfully launch many ambitious projects and prove it is not a regular car manufacturer? Let us know in the comments below.