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Analyst makes mistake in his Tesla report, now sees even deeper losses for stock

  • Jefferies revises its price target for Tesla shares much lower because it used an incorrect shares outstanding number.
  • "This note corrects the PT from $280 to $240 due to an error in the DCF [discounted cash flow] share count - No other change," the firm said.
  • A review of the first Jefferies report revealed the analyst used a 139.6 million shares outstanding number for Tesla in his valuation analysis versus the actual 165.2 million shares outstanding for the company.

Jefferies made waves on Tuesday predicting a big decline for Tesla shares and starting coverage of the company with an underperform rating.

But due to an apparent calculation error, the firm was forced to change its price target for the electric car maker even lower.

"This note corrects the PT from $280 to $240 due to an error in the DCF [discounted cash flow] share count - No other change," analyst Philippe Houchois wrote in the revised report entitled "Erratum: Tesla and the Permanent Revolution."

The corrected $240 price target for Tesla shares represents 36 percent downside from Tuesday's close versus the 25 percent downside for the first $280 price forecast.

A review of the first Jefferies report revealed the analyst used 139.6 million for the number of outstanding shares for Tesla in his valuation analysis on page 40 versus the 165.2 million shares outstanding number in the corrected note.

Apparently, it was just mistyped as the first report had the accurate 165.2 million shares outstanding number on the cover page.

Tesla reported shares outstanding of 165.2 million in its June quarter financial results.

Discounted cash flow is a widely used method to value companies. It looks at how much money a company will make in the future and what those cash flows are worth today, according to the time value of money concept.

The time value of money says any money today is worth more than the same amount in the future due to the potential for investment gains.

Houchois did not immediately respond to a request for comment for this story.

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