Tesla shares drop after analysts worry about China trade war risk 

  • Moody's is concerned that a potential escalation in the trade war between the U.S. and China will hurt Tesla's financials.
  • “Cash generation could be dampened, however, by rising trade tensions with China,” Moody’s analyst Bruce Clark says.
People visit a Tesla showroom in Beijing.
Wang Zhao | AFP | Getty Images
People visit a Tesla showroom in Beijing.

The escalating trade conflict between the U.S. and China could be bad news for Tesla, according to J.P. Morgan.

On Tuesday, Tesla cautioned investors about the "headwinds" in China from the trade war in its third-quarter vehicle production and deliveries announcement. The company said the trade conflict has led to a 40 percent import tariff on Tesla vehicles exported to China.

"In another negative development, the deliveries release speaks to challenges in China relative to the increase in tariffs for vehicles imported from the United States," J.P. Morgan analyst Ryan Brinkman said in a note to clients Wednesday.

Shares of Tesla closed down 2.1 percent Wednesday.

In similar fashion, Moody's is concerned about the potential escalation in the trade war between the two countries.

"Cash generation could be dampened, however, by rising trade tensions with China," Moody's analyst Bruce Clark said in a note to clients Tuesday. "China is an important long-term market for Tesla and exports to the country represented approximately 20% of automotive revenues during 2017."

One hedge fund firm also revealed Wednesday that it is betting against the electric car maker.

Hudson Bay Capital Management's Sander Gerber told Reuters that his firm is short Tesla's stock due to the growing number of employees who have left the company.