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Stock Market News: Tesla Fails to Deliver; Constellation Goes to Pot

By Dan Caplinger - Oct 3, 2019 at 11:32AM

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Thursday brought more losses to the broader market, but there were a couple signs of a possible bounce.

Investors continued to lose confidence in the stock market on Thursday morning, with another round of weak economic data weighing on sentiment. The latest reading of the health of the service sector raised new fears of a possible recession, confirming in some people's eyes the poor readings from the manufacturing sector earlier in the week. Yet major benchmarks came off their worst levels of the day quickly, and as of 11 a.m. EDT, the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI 1.87% ) was down 49 points to 26,029. The S&P 500 ( ^GSPC 1.17% ) fell 3 points to 2,885, but the Nasdaq Composite ( ^IXIC 0.00% ) picked up 4 points to 7,789.

Investors have long looked at Tesla ( TSLA -0.59% ) not just as a pioneer in electric vehicles, but also as the face of a broader movement looking to supplant well-established competitors in many different industries. Yet it's hard to keep up with high expectations, and Tesla had to deal with disappointment today. Also under pressure was Constellation Brands ( STZ 2.07% ), whose stake in Canopy Growth ( CGC 1.60% ) has been volatile and had a big impact on the spirits maker's overall performance over the past year.

Tesla falls short

Tesla's stock dropped 7% after the electric car specialist reported its production figures for the third quarter of 2019. The company said it delivered 97,000 vehicles during Q3, rising 16% from the same period a year ago and setting a new record. However, the number failed to meet the goals that some saw Tesla having set for itself.

Blue Tesla Model 3 on a road in front of a grassy landscape and pretty sky.

Image source: Tesla.

Tesla saw impressive growth in deliveries of its Model 3 vehicles, which are aimed at a more mass-market audience. Model 3 deliveries came in at 79,600, up 42% from year-ago levels. However, some of that increased production came at the expense of other Tesla models. Deliveries of higher-end Model S and X vehicles fell by more than 10,000, coming in at 17,400.

Production continued to ramp up to meet demand. Tesla reported producing more than 96,000 vehicles during the quarter, up from just over 87,000 three months earlier.

Yet part of the reason for disappointment was that CEO Elon Musk had told Tesla employees recently that posting 100,000 deliveries for the quarter was possible. Bullish investors seem to have taken that number as a new target. Now, it'll be even more important for Tesla to break the 100,000 mark as it closes 2019 in the months ahead.

No more high for Constellation Brands

Shares of Constellation Brands were down as well, losing 7% as the maker of Corona beer and various spirits brands reported its fiscal second-quarter financial results. The company said that it took another hit from its investment in cannabis company Canopy Growth, which has struggled recently.

On one hand, some of Constellation's core businesses did quite well. The company reported record operating income for its beer segment, led by the success of the Modelo Especial brand in the U.S. beer market. Yet Constellation said that Canopy cost it about $0.20 per share in earnings, and that was enough to make the difference between a modest rise in year-over-year earnings per share and a pretty significant decline.

Most of Constellation's attention is on its current restructuring efforts, which include the sale of a huge portion of its wine and spirits business to E.J. Gallo. Constellation has high hopes that wine and spirits will have a good holiday season, and it's creating innovative brands to address demand.

Yet many are disappointed with how the Canopy investment has gone lately. Constellation boasted a $757 million unrealized net gain since its initial Canopy investment in November 2017, but it booked an $839 million decrease in fair value during the quarter. If that continues, then investors should expect more pressure on Constellation to put its ownership stake in Canopy to better use.

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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Stocks Mentioned

Constellation Brands, Inc. Stock Quote
Constellation Brands, Inc.
$230.87 (2.07%) $4.68
Tesla, Inc. Stock Quote
Tesla, Inc.
$1,009.01 (-0.59%) $-5.96
Dow Jones Industrial Average (Price Return) Stock Quote
Dow Jones Industrial Average (Price Return)
$35,227.03 (1.87%) $646.95
S&P 500 Index - Price Return (USD) Stock Quote
S&P 500 Index - Price Return (USD)
$4,591.67 (1.17%) $53.24
NASDAQ Composite Index (Price Return) Stock Quote
NASDAQ Composite Index (Price Return)
$15,085.47 (0.00%) $0.00
Canopy Growth Stock Quote
Canopy Growth
$10.15 (1.60%) $0.16

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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