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Why Tesla Stock Was Slammed Wednesday

By Daniel Sparks – Updated Apr 9, 2019 at 11:37PM

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Here's how Tesla disappointed the Street, despite surging year-over-year growth in vehicle production and deliveries.

What happened

Shares of electric-car company Tesla (TSLA 6.24%) took a big hit Wednesday, falling as much as 9.9%. As of 10:11 a.m. EST, the stock was down about 7.4%.

The stock's decline follows fourth-quarter Model 3 deliveries that fell short of analysts' estimates and a price reduction in the U.S.

Vehicle production in Tesla's factory in Fremont, CA

Image source: author.

So what

Tesla produced a record 86,555 vehicles in Q4 -- up 8% sequentially and 250% year over year. Deliveries for the quarter were about 90,700 units. Approximately 63,150 of these deliveries were Model 3, 13,500 were Model S, and 14,050 were Model X.

Analysts, on average, expected Tesla to deliver 64,900 Model 3 units in Q2. Model 3 deliveries are closely scrutinized because Tesla management has big expectations for the vehicle, betting it can help the company go from delivering around 100,000 vehicles per year with the Model S and X to 500,000 vehicles per year as it increases Model 3 production and brings Model 3 deliveries to international markets.

To help incentivize orders in the U.S., Tesla announced it is reducing the price of all its vehicles in its home market by $2,000. This will help Tesla "partially absorb the reduction of the federal [electric vehicle] tax credit (which, as of January 1st, dropped from $7,500 to $3,750)," Tesla said in its update on Wednesday.

Now what

Looking ahead, Tesla believes there are "significant opportunities to continue to grow Model 3 sales by expanding to international markets, introducing lower-priced variants, and offering leasing." Importantly, the company said international deliveries in Europe and China are set to begin in February.

Check out the latest Tesla earnings call transcript.

Daniel Sparks owns shares of Tesla. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Tesla. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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