Stop us if you’ve heard this before.
Shares of Tesla took a nosedive Monday after CEO Elon Musk once again came under fire for a string of controversial tweets. The 3 percent drop was sparked by Musk’s attack on one of the British divers involved in the rescue of the Thai soccer team, and reports of his political donations.
Investors have been here before, with the volatile stock entering yet another correction during what’s proved a rocky year. Some market forecasters see bigger losses to come, citing factors like a corporate leader mired in controversy, and lingering concerns about vehicle production.
For Michael Bapis, partner and managing director of The Bapis Group at HighTower Advisors, Tesla has been a no-touch for quite some time.
“We’ve been bearish on the company for a while. We’re sticking with that stance. I mean, there’s so much headline risk around them. They can’t meet production, they’re burning through cash,” and perceived tirades on Twitter don’t help, Bapis told CNBC’s “Trading Nation” on Monday, adding his pessimism comes even as the company is “super innovative.”
“What would change my mind on the company: refocus on fundamentals, get back to what you did to build this company, start meeting the delivery deadlines, and start making people want to buy the stock again. But until they do that, and until they can turn that around, we’re going to stick with our bearish stance on the company,” he said.
To be sure, the company is still very much a battleground name on Wall Street. Analysts and other market participants tend to be quite split on the stock’s future. On average, analysts give Tesla a hold rating, according to FactSet data; in other words, neither buy nor sell the shares. At least three firms, including Cowen, rate the stock a sell, and at least seven firms rate it a buy.
From a technical standpoint, the stock’s volatility alone isn’t what’s most bearish; it’s that there’s “really no identifiable trend here for it to have much conviction in either direction,” Ari Wald, head of technical analysis at Oppenheimer, said on "Trading Nation."
The fact that the name has traded around its 200-day moving average for the bulk of this year indicates to him range bound behavior, and prompts him to recommend investors look elsewhere.
“To talk some levels, we see support at $275, resistance at $360, so that’s a pretty wide trading range on top of that, as well,” he said, examining a chart of Tesla shares.
Tesla fell nearly 3 percent on Monday, closing at $310.10 per share.