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Tesla shares to plunge nearly 40% due to weak Model 3 production, Goldman predicts

  • Goldman analyst David Tamberrino reaffirms his sell rating for Tesla shares, predicting Model 3 production will be slower than expected.
  • In the third quarter, Tesla delivered 26,150 total vehicles and 220 Model 3 cars versus the FactSet estimates of 25,860 and 1,260 respectively.
Elon Musk
Peter Parks | AFP | Getty Images
Elon Musk

Tesla's third quarter Model 3 delivery miss is further evidence the electric car maker will have difficulties ramping up manufacturing for the vehicle, according to a top Wall Street firm.

In the third quarter, Tesla delivered 26,150 total vehicles and just 220 Model 3 cars versus the FactSet estimates of 25,860 and 1,260, respectively. Although the overall number was above expectations, Goldman focused on the Model 3 miss due to its importance to the company's future.

Tesla shares declined 1.2 percent in early trading Tuesday.

Goldman analyst David Tamberrino reaffirmed his sell rating for Tesla shares, predicting Model 3 production will be slower than expected.

We "maintain our more cautious ramp of Model 3 deliveries which fell below our Street-low estimate for the quarter. We believe this likely puts downward risk to the company's communicated S-curve to the Model 3 production ramp," Tamberrino wrote in a note to clients Tuesday. "We continue to maintain our more cautious Model 3 ramp, which is far below company targets."

The analyst increased his six-month price target for Telsa to $210 from $200, a 39 percent downside from Monday's close.

"We continue to see downside to Factset consensus. Automotive gross margin estimates for the quarter given worse utilization on Model 3 and likely lower margin Model S/X sales," he wrote.

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Its shares are up 60 percent this year versus the S&P 500's 13 percent return through Monday.

—CNBC's Michael Bloom contributed to this story.

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