Tesla announced on Monday that it hit its quarterly goals for vehicle production, churning out 5,031 Model 3's over the last week of June, squeaking past its self-imposed target of 5,000. The company expects to increase production to 6,000 Model 3s per week by late August.
Tesla's new vehicle production and deliveries report helped the stock surge, initially, on Monday. But after rising by about 6 percent at the beginning of the session, shares in Tesla dipped and the stock traded down 2.3 percent to close the day at $335.07
That's because, to many on Wall Street, the electric vehicle maker still has a lot to prove.
Sustained production. For starters, analysts are wondering if Tesla can sustain high-volume production of the Model 3, rather than pushing employees to hit a "burst" rate a rush to finish the quarter.
Goldman Sachs analyst David Tamberrino raised this point in a note ahead of Tesla's vehicle production and deliveries report on Monday. And CFRA's Efraim Levy expressed the same concerns in a note downgrading the stock from a hold to a sell today.
Profitability and cash flow. Levy also said in an interview with CNBC.com that it's time for Tesla to focus on the bottom line.
"They have to prove they can be profitable or profitable soon. Ultimately, I do think they will be. The question is when and how profitable. Right now, they are spending a lot and relying on capital markets to fund their investments. The point is to become self-sustaining for cash flow generation as soon as possible."
Earlier this year, the company reduced its capital expenditure plans for 2018 to $3 billion down from $3.4 billion. Musk said the company does not want or need to raise equity or new debt this year to accomplish its goals.
But at the same time, it has announced intentions to establish a new factory in Shanghai, develop new vehicles like a Semi and Model Y, perfect its manufacturing processes at its existing factories, and perfect its long-awaited glass solar roof tiles, which have thus far only been installed at a handful of home
Lower prices. Autotrader executive analyst Michelle Krebs also notes that Tesla has made pricing promises to customers that may prove hard to keep.
She noted that after originally promising its Model 3 electric sedans as a $35,000 vehicle, Tesla has yet to begin building and selling the base model version of the car.
Tesla also faces a limit on tax credits for its prospective customers. As soon as Tesla exceeds 200,000 electric vehicles, an available federal tax credit begins to phase out, leaving customers to pay more on balance for their electric cars from Tesla.