Morgan Stanley cuts Tesla price target and lowers Model S and Model X sales forecast

Key Points
  • Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas expects Tesla to average 14,800 Model S and X vehicles per quarter and 287,500 Model 3 midsize sedans for the year.
  • Jonas worries that negative market sentiment could have an impact on Tesla's business. 
People look at a Tesla Model X displayed at a shopping mall in Hong Kong on March 10, 2019
Vivek Prakash | AFP | Getty Images

Morgan Stanley cut its Tesla price target Monday, saying it expects the automaker to deliver fewer vehicles in 2019, especially its high-end Model S sedan and Model X sport utility vehicle.

Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas lowered his price target on Tesla from $260 to $240 a share, and cut forecasts for a number of key financial metrics, including earnings, revenues, cash flow and gross margins after the company reported disappointing first-quarter deliveries last week. Jonas has the equivalent of a neutral rating on the stock.

Tesla dismisses sales employees as part of earlier-announced cuts

Tesla shares were up nearly 1 percent Monday in morning trading. The stock has lost more than 17 percent of its value since the beginning of the year.

Apart from declining deliveries, negative sentiment around Tesla's stock also could begin to hurt the company's actual business, Jonas said.

"We are increasingly concerned about the impact that investor concerns over Tesla's financial strength and forward looking liquidity position could potentially have on employee morale, customer perceptions and standing with key stakeholders and suppliers," he said.

Jonas now expects Tesla to deliver 344,000 vehicles in 2019, which is at the low end of Tesla's own guidance and down from Jonas' previous forecast of 362,000 units. He expects Tesla to deliver an average of 14,800 Model S and X vehicles per quarter and 287,500 Model 3 midsize sedans for the year.