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Why Tesla Stock Fell Sharply on Wednesday

By Daniel Sparks – Sep 23, 2020 at 11:15AM

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Battery Day hype didn't live up to investor expectations.

What happened

Shares of Tesla (TSLA) tumbled on Wednesday. A half hour into the trading day, the stock was down about 7%.

The growth stock's downturn follows the electric-car maker's Battery Day event, which included news on the automaker's plans for battery design and manufacturing. The stock's decline suggests investors were largely underwhelmed with the announcements made Tuesday.

A chart showing a stock price falling

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

While a handful of analysts were encouraged by Tesla's Battery Day update, some seemed disappointed.

Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi, for instance, noted that the event included bold aspirations but lacked specifics. Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas said the event "largely lived up to the hype, but didn't clearly exceed it." Canaccord analyst Jed Dorsheimer actually lowered his 12-month price target on the stock from $442 to $377, noting that the automaker may ultimately let down investors who consider Tesla a tech giant. Finally, Baird analyst Ben Kallo lifted his 12-month price target for the stock from $332 to $360, but he noted that the company lacks near-term catalysts and he's concerned about how demand will fare in the current economic environment.

Overall, it seems that the hype going into the event may have been overdone, leading to a sell-the-news decline in the stock after the event concluded.

Now what

September has been a wild month for Tesla stock, with shares regularly rising and falling sharply. Going forward, it wouldn't be surprising to see even more of this volatility. Following the stock's 1,000% gain between August 2019 and August 2020, a bumpy road ahead is almost inevitable.

Investors will now look for Tesla to begin executing on the battery breakthroughs it announced on Tuesday. However, many of the innovations announced will take years to be realized, CEO Elon Musk warned during the event.

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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