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Jefferies cuts Tesla price target, cites ‘uncomfortable pile up of negative news’


Jefferies slashed its price target on shares of Tesla on Thursday as the company grapples with a slew of negative headlines. “It is hard to isolate factors behind the recent correction, from Nasdaq, to Twitter financial commitments and China lockdowns, but we are clearly witnessing an uncomfortable pile up of negative news from ratings to polarizing political opinions and ethical questions,” the firm’s analysts led by Philippe Houchois wrote in a note to clients. Still, the firm remains bullish on the Elon Musk-led company and reiterated its buy rating on the stock. Jefferies cut its price forecast from $1,250 to $1,050, but the new target is still about 60% above where the stock closed on Wednesday. The firm noted that “long-held fears of disruption from inside” the company “have come true,” which has raised Tesla’s risk profile. But on the operating side, Jefferies said the company “continues to set transformative new standards of returns and resource efficiency.” Shares of Tesla are down 24% for May, and have lost 37% since the beginning of the year. Part of that is thanks to a broader sell-off in growth-oriented areas of the market. But Tesla is facing its own challenges, including Musk seeking to buy Twitter. The Nasdaq Composite, by comparison, is down 7.3% for May and has shed 27% since January. Despite the electric vehicle company’s underperformance, Houchois said the fundamentals remain “exceptional.” “Tesla continues to challenge the industry’s business model at multiple levels by avoiding resource- and capital-intensive complexity. The $trillion question is how far Tesla can take model concentration and how many models are needed to take global share to 5 or 15%,” he said. –CNBC’s Michael Bloom contributed reporting.

Interior view of a Tesla showroom on April 26, 2022 in New York City.
Kena Betancur | Corbis News | Getty Images

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