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Why Tesla Shares Fell 22% in May

By Anders Bylund - Jun 10, 2019 at 3:25PM

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The electric car company attracted lots of negative analyst commentary after it slashed car prices and announced a "hardcore" cost-cutting effort.

What happened

Shares of Tesla ( TSLA -6.42% ) plunged 22.4% last month, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. The electric car company sparked a plethora of headlines in May, most of them the negative kind.

So what

Tesla bears had a field day in May as the company slashed base prices on its higher-end Model S and Model X cars, followed by the announcement of a companywide cost-cutting program. Some critics saw this move as a sign that Tesla is inching closer to bankruptcy, while others took CEO Elon Musk at his word when he said that the company is less than a year away from sustainably positive profits. Many Wall Street analysts lowered their price targets on the stock, led by Morgan Stanley dropping its worst-case valuation estimate from $97 per share all the way down to $10. The same firm also kept a $230 target price for the more likely "base case" scenario, settling for a hold rating overall.

A dollar bill folded into a charting arrow, origami-style. The arrow ends up pointing downward.

Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

At this point, Tesla's shares have absorbed a 36% beating in 52 weeks and a 43% drop over the last six months. This stock is not recommended for investors with a low tolerance for market risk, but Tesla still offers tremendous upside in the long run if the company manages to deliver on its lofty promises. From my point of view, this looks like a promising buy-in opportunity -- with plenty of speed bumps in the road ahead.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis – even one of our own – helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

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Tesla, Inc. Stock Quote
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TSLA
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