Tesla shares have underperformed this year, but Wall Street analysts will be paying close attention to the electric vehicle maker's second-quarter earnings call Monday for news that could send the stock higher. The shares are down more than 7% in 2021 and about 27% off their 52-week high notched in January. Automakers across the industry faced higher input costs due to supply shortages, and Tesla was no exception. The company raised prices to offset increased costs. Despite the supply chain headwinds, Tesla earlier in July announced 201,250 vehicle deliveries in the second quarter — the first time the electric vehicle maker crossed the 200,000 level in a three-month period. The strong delivery figure provided Wall Street analysts with a foundation going into second-quarter earnings as they look for insights into the company's key business areas. "This seems to be shaping up to be a relatively unexciting financial earnings report for TSLA. The fireworks seem to be more focused on the commentary and updates Tesla provides on the call," RBC Capital Markets' Joseph Spak said. Here's what analysts expect from Tesla earnings: Analysts anticipate insight into Tesla's business in China, a key market for the company. Tesla in the past several months has faced challenges with its brand's reputation in the country. Most recently in June, China's vehicle safety authority announced a voluntary recall via software update of about 285,000 Tesla vehicles due to reported issues with driver-assistance systems. "[W]e expect Tesla's upcoming earnings report will also provide investors a status update on the trend in sales in China (following several high profile product quality and customer relations issues in that country during the quarter)," JPMorgan's Ryan Brinkman wrote. Tesla's bitcoin holdings also loom large over the company's second-quarter earnings report. The cryptocurrency has been volatile, with the price of bitcoin briefly dropping below $30,000 in June, but surging above $39,000 on Monday . "The impact of bitcoin will depend on the definition of fair value at any time . If measured at closing, we see no impairment, but at intraday lows, we see a ~$104m (~$0.09) impairment... Any impairment would be viewed as one-time," Wells Fargo's Colin M. Langan said in a note. Analysts additionally are looking for updates regarding Tesla's full self-driving capability and new manufacturing facilities in Berlin and Austin, Texas. JPMorgan — underweight rating "Beyond the now known trend in deliveries, we expect Tesla's upcoming earnings report will also provide investors a status update on the trend in sales in China (following several high profile product quality and customer relations issues in that country during the quarter) as well as the Model S Plaid launch in the U.S. We will also be looking for indications as to how Tesla is navigating the current inflationary environment" Wedbush — outperform rating "After a Cinderella story ride last year for Tesla (and the bulls), this year shares have underperformed as the trifecta of: 1) increasing EV competition, 2) China PR/safety issues negatively impacting demand, and 3) the chip shortage overhang. With all of these headwinds, Tesla still impressively hit 200k+ deliveries in the June quarter and appear to be on a trajectory to possibly hit 900k for the year with a stronger 2H on the horizon in our opinion." Credit Suisse — neutral rating "Arguably the most critical item we can learn on the call is updated timing on launch of new capacity, esp. in Europe...[W]e believe the core focus for Tesla in 2021 is capacity expansion, which can help to unlock further volume growth. With expansion in Shanghai, and new facilities in Texas and Berlin, we estimate Tesla will exit 2021 with installed capacity of 1.44mn units vs. 1.05mn currently." Wells Fargo — equal weight rating "The Q2 price increases should more than offset our estimated ~$230/vehicle raw mat headwind. Servicing should again benefit from higher used pricing. The impact of bitcoin will depend on the definition of fair value at any time . If measured at closing, we see no impairment, but at intraday lows, we see a ~$104m (~$0.09) impairment... Any impairment would be viewed as one-time." Barclays — underweight rating "[R]ather than debate whether [full self-driving] robotaxis are real or not, we drill into those 'traditional factors' – and conclude that TSLA may post an earning beat as price increases outweigh likely cost pressures. While we acknowledge the profit improvement from pricing moves in 2Q21, and potential near-term upside to the shares, we believe some of these will dissipate over time and remain stubbornly Underweight on valuation." UBS — neutral rating "The main positive margin drivers during the quarter were: higher volumes q/q, higher contribution from made-in-China Model Y and price increases in the U.S. and Europe whereas the low contribution from the re-launched Model S & X (which started mid-June) has been a negative driver. … What's even more relevant to the share price over the next few quarters will be Tesla's comments during the Q2 call on the timing of the ramp-up in Berlin and Austin, Tesla's proprietary 4680 battery and the launch of [full self-driving] (the latter two are running behind schedule)." RBC Capital Markets — sector perform rating "This seems to be shaping up to be a relatively unexciting financial earnings report for TSLA. The fireworks seem to be more focused on the commentary and updates Tesla provides on the call. In particular, we are focused on China and [full self-driving]. China remains an increasing and under-appreciated risk in our view." Oppenheimer — outperform rating "With TSLA delivering vehicle volumes largely in line with expectations, we believe there are several areas of significant interest for investors. First, we are looking for indicators of progress on its Berlin and Austin manufacturing capacity. Second, we expect geographic and feature mix along with the ability to pass higher supply chain costs on to consumers to drive margins. Third, we believe upside in shares from here is premised on the successful introduction of incremental self-driving functionality toward full self-driving performance in the urban environment." Deutsche Bank — buy rating "Mid-term, we continue to believe Tesla's impressive target trajectory for its battery technology, capacity and especially cost could help accelerate the world's shift to electric vehicles and extend Tesla's EV lead considerably. In-house cell manufacturing efforts are well on track, with cells likely to be at target quality by end of this year, and ramp up of its cell capacity to large scale over the next 12-18 months." Mizuho — buy rating "[W]hile we believe TSLA could see competition from legacy automakers such as VW, Ford and Mercedes, TSLA's lead remains unchallenged with 1H'21 deliveries up 115% y/ y at 385k units vs VW's ID.3/4 estimated at ~65-70k. TSLA remained the global BEV market share leader in the MarQ at 24% share, with a vertically integrated battery, software and hardware roadmap." — CNBC's Michael Bloom contributed reporting.
Lucas Jackson | Reuters
Tesla shares have underperformed this year, but Wall Street analysts will be paying close attention to the electric vehicle maker's second-quarter earnings call Monday for news that could send the stock higher.