Tesla Model X: TSLA Stock Takes Dive Following Much-Anticipated SUV Unveiling

Tesla Motors, Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) unveiled its long-awaited Model x on Tuesday evening to much fanfare from electric vehicle enthusiasts. The Inquisitr has reported on the fact that deliveries of the Model X were almost two years behind schedule. Tesla only delivered six Model Xs on Tuesday, with the first going to CEO Elon Musk and the fourth going to Google co-founder Sergey Brin, according to MotorHerald.

The Model X for its part, looks to be a well-built and fast vehicle. The base Model X price is seen near $70,000 with fully loaded models expected to cost $132,000. The new Model X is the first electric SUV and is reported to have a range of up to 257 miles, not far from the 270 miles anticipated by observers before the release. The Model X is roomy and can reportedly carry full sheets of plywood. It also features an air conditioning system that includes what Tesla is calling a “bioweapon defense mode,” which some experts aren’t buying the efficacy of, reports Gizmodo.

Customers first began putting as much as $40,000 down for the Tesla Model X in early 2012 and the company is reported to have accepted 20,000 bookings. There is reportedly no word on when these customers can expect to receive their Model Xs, nor is there any information on Tesla’s anticipated production rate. All that Tesla is willing to divulge is that new customers who put down deposits now can expect to receive vehicles sometime in late 2016, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Elon Musk and Tesla have begun to make a habit of over-promising and under-delivering. In April, Tesla announced the introduction of a new stationary battery called the Powerwall, which was first promised to customers between July 30 and August 30. Two versions are available, a 7 kWh and a 10 kWh, with the later being the only one suitable for use with solar panels, which Tesla’s sister company SolarCity (NASDAQ: SCTY) has reportedly been accepting orders for. It wasn’t until mid-September that news of 7 kWh Powerwall deliveries began to trickle out. Delivery of 10 kWh Powerwalls, seemingly like the Model X, have been pushed out to 2016.

In early August, Tesla reduced its full-year sales guidance from 55,000 vehicles down to between 50,000 to 55,000, originally thought to include more than six Model Xs, reports Bloomberg.

Tesla Model X unvelling.
Tesla delivered the fist six Model X SUVs on Tuesday evening.

Perhaps not surprisingly, TSLA shares traded up marginally on Wednesday before falling 3.4 percent on heavier than average volume today. The slow delivery of both the Powerwall and the Model X has coincided with reductions to current quarter and full-year per TSLA share loss consensus estimates as well as 2016 per TSLA share earnings estimates.

Current quarter per TSLA share loss estimates have been reduced from a profit of $0.01 60 days ago to a loss of $0.48 today. Full-year 2015 per TSLA share loss forecasts have fallen from $0.03 60 days ago to $0.83 today. Full-year 2016 TSLA EPS estimates have fallen from $3.46 60 days ago to $2.45 today. Nineteen research firms provide TSLA EPS estimates.

Perhaps telling is a comparison between Tesla and General Motors Company (NYSE: GM) market capitalization and revenue. While Tesla’s $31.1 billion market capitalization is 64.1 percent of General Motors’ $48.52 billion, Tesla’s trailing twelve month revenues of $3.7 billion are a mere 2.4 percent of GM’s $152.76 billion.

If Tesla were to actually meet the low-end of its sales targets and sell 50,000 vehicles in 2015, and GM increased 2014 sales by a reasonable 2 percent to 10.1 million vehicles, Tesla would only have produced about 0.5 percent as many cars as GM. Even if Tesla were somehow able to triple its production in 2016, its total vehicle sales would be only 1.5 percent of GM’s.

Elon Musk TSLA Model X launch.
Elon Musk unveils the new Tesla Model X SUV.

Further, Forbes is reporting that the prices of Tesla vehicles in Denmark are set to triple with the rollback of tax incentives. In the U.S., the savings for a Tesla buyer with a $100,000 yearly income available through tax incentives is about $7,500. The United Kingdom limits the total number of Tesla cars that are eligible for tax breaks as well.

Some, such as Zacks, expected the launch of the Model X to perhaps boost TSLA shares. Others, such as U.S. News and World Report, asked if the recent Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal could help boost TSLA shares, and concluded that, due to a decline in oil prices, any move away from Volkswagen diesel-powered cars would likely be back to traditional gasoline vehicles.

Craig Pirrong spoke with the Financial Times with regard to TSLA shares stating that he feels the shares may be under a massive short squeeze and wonders if the “SEC is interested. It should be.” Pirrong feels TSLA stock may be inflated due to this squeeze and that it is “only a matter of time” until it corrects.

[Photos by Justin Sullivan / Getty Images — Photo by Bill Pugliano / Getty Images]