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Why Tesla Stock Fell on Thursday

By Daniel Sparks - Mar 12, 2020 at 1:32PM

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The electric-car maker's stock has now declined more than 40% from its high.

What happened

Shares of Tesla (TSLA 3.10%) were slammed on Thursday, falling as much as 13.9% in the morning. As of 12:32 p.m. EDT, the stock was down 11.4%.

While shares were likely primarily down due to yet another massive sell-off in the overall market, one analyst's price target downgrade for the stock may have had a negative impact on the electric-car maker's shares as well.

A white Model S on the road. Mountains are in the background.

Model S. Image source: Tesla.

So what

Capturing the turmoil in the market on Thursday, the S&P 500 was down 8.3% at the time of this writing. The market's decline came after President Donald Trump's Wednesday address detailing the measures the U.S. is taking to fight the novel coronavirus failed to calm investors' nerves.

Meanwhile, Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas reduced his 12-month price target for Tesla stock from $500 to $480. The lower price target reflects his lowered vehicle sales target for the company in Europe this year due to the coronavirus and less compelling incentives for electric vehicle buyers in some markets. The stock closed Wednesday at $634.23. 

Shares of Tesla have now fallen 43% from an all-time high of $969 earlier this year.

Now what

Investors will get their first update on Tesla's sales in 2020 in the first few days of April. The company reports deliveries for its quarters within a few days of their close, and Q1 ends at the end of March.

For the full year, Tesla guided for total deliveries to exceed 500,000 units. This would be up from about 368,000 units in 2019. 

Daniel Sparks has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Tesla. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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