Tesla stock (TSLA) jumped on Tuesday morning after it was revealed that Chinese Internet firm Tencent has taken a 5% stake in it. The company is also expected to release the number of vehicles it delivered next week, and Goldman Sachs is projecting another miss, although perhaps investors are so used to delivery misses by now that they don’t mind.
Tencent buys Tesla stock (TSLA)
Tencent revealed its purchase of Tesla stock in a regulatory filing on Tuesday. The Chinese company purchased nearly 8.2 million shares — making it Tesla’s fifth biggest shareholder with a 5% stake — for approximately $1.8 billion on March 17. Tesla stock (TSLA) surged by about 3% after the purchase was disclosed, making it the second most valuable U.S. automaker after only General Motors. If you can believe it, Ford is now a less valuable company than the niche Tesla.
Tencent is known mostly for the messaging app WeChat, although it is one of the biggest tech companies in Asia. The Chinese firm is quite active in the investment world, especially when it comes to mobility startups. According to Reuters, it was one of the earliest investors in Shanghai-based startup NextEV, which has renamed itself Nio. Tencent has also invested in China-based ride-hailing service Didi Chuxing.
Autonomous driving technology is also a key feature of the company’s investments, as many of the mobility startups it has backed so far are working on solutions.
Tesla expected to miss delivery forecasts… again
Although Tesla is now much more than cars, it’s expected to continue the trend of reporting the number of vehicles it delivers within the first few days after the end of a quarter. Goldman Sachs analyst David Tamberrino, who has a Sell rating and $187 price target on Tesla stock, expects the company to say that it delivered about 23,500 vehicles during the first quarter.
That’s at the midpoint of the 22,500 to 24,500 range that was provided, but it’s a miss versus the consensus of 24,600, he explained in a research note dated March 28. It also implies that the company is on track to meet the lower end of its first-half guidance of 47,000 to 50,000 vehicle deliveries.
The analyst feels that order rates are the most important data point the company will provide in its first-quarter earnings release. He noted that Tesla reported year over year order growth of 67% for last year’s second quarter, 68% for the third, and 52% for the fourth. He added that some deceleration should be expected because the order base is presumably growing off low levels. However, he feels that any further deceleration suggests that demand for the company’s current luxury models is maturing faster.
Model 3 is the “sizzle” in Tesla stock for now
Pacific Crest analyst Brad Erickson is looking for Tesla to report first quarter deliveries that are in line with or just behind its “internal goals.” He estimates that about 60% of the company’s vehicle orders are for the Model S while 40% are for the Model X and believes that demand for the Model X isn’t as high as most were expecting it to be.
Erickson hasn’t set a target price for Tesla stock, but he feels that an appropriate price is somewhere in the low $200 range. He feels that the Model 3 is the “sizzle” in Tesla stock (TSLA) for now, but he has a “more negative” bias in the longer term because of the apparent soft demand for the Model X. Other points against the stock are the apparent decline in Model S deliveries in three of the last four quarters and the risks in the Model 3 production ramp.
Shares of Tesla stock (TSLA) rose as high as $279.98 during regular trading on Tuesday.