For the third time in as many days, Tesla (TSLA) stock received a downgrade Friday, as analysts expect waning consumer demand and increased competition in China to cut into Tesla’s value. The stock edged down Friday after jumping around 2% Thursday.
DZ Bank double downgraded Tesla stock to a sell rating, down from its previous buy rating. The firm has a 210 price target on Tesla. The move from DZ Bank follows downgrades from Morgan Stanley and Barclays this week.
On Thursday, Morgan Stanley downgraded Tesla to equal weight, from overweight, and hiked its share price target to 250, up from 200 and about 5% below where shares closed on Thursday.
The note cited Tesla as an artificial intelligence (A.I.) beneficiary as well as an auto company. Morgan Stanley’s view is that high expectations on A.I. have brought Tesla stock to a fair valuation.
“We’re not trying to call ‘the end’ to the Tesla rally,” Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas made clear on Thursday. “And from our discussions (we) continue to find a significant degree of investor skepticism/lack of exposure around the name.”
Jonas added that despite the downgrade, Morgan Stanley views Tesla as a “must own” in an EV portfolio and as an industrial “standard-bearer” for electric transport and renewable energy economy.
“Despite the recent rally, we expect material negative revisions for Tesla consensus earnings forecasts,” Jonas told investors.
Morgan Stanley forecasts “intensifying competition” from China’s EV players and slowing auto demand from consumers both present growing risks for Tesla stock. Jonas sees Tesla stock in a bull case hitting 450 and in a bear case 90, over the next 12 months.
Tesla stock dropped 3.2% to 256.13 Friday during market trade. On Thursday, shares jumped around 2% to 264.61. Tesla stock slumped 5.4% to 259.46 Wednesday. On Tuesday, shares jumped 5.3% to 274.31.
Wednesday morning, Barclays analyst Dan Levy also downgraded Tesla stock to equal weight, down from overweight. Levy hiked the firm’s TSLA price target to 260, up from the previous 220.
The Barclays analyst wrote the stock’s recent rally has been “too sharp relative to challenging near-term fundamentals.” Levy told investors questions about margins and demand for Tesla vehicles remain concerns.
TSLA has advanced around 30% in June. Last week, the stock jumped more than 6% despite two straight consecutive sessions with losses.
Before shares slipped last Wednesday, Tesla enjoyed a run of 13 straight gains. Shares are up around 140% since Jan. 3. However, Tesla is down 36% from the all-time high 414 it hit in November 2021.
Shares are more than 30% above their 200-day/40-week moving average. That’s the most extended they’ve been since the stock marked its peak in November 2021.
Please follow Kit Norton on Twitter @KitNorton for more coverage.
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