Musk miss: Tesla’s latest update leaves investors with yet more questions
Tesla has missed analyst estimates as it delivered only 405,000 cars in the fourth quarter of 2022 – significantly fewer than Tesla-watchers were expecting.
Wall Street had hoped for the number to be above 430,000.
The miss is the latest cloud hanging over the firm’s controversial founder Elon Musk, with the firm’s 40 per cent annual growth rate missing his own target of 50 per cent year on year delivery growth.
Shares were down 13.23 per cent on Tuesday afternoon.
According to AJ Bell’s investment director Russ Mould, the company’s share price was also down as a result of Elon Musk’s messy takeover of social media giant Twitter.
Tesla’s shares have been shaky over the past few months as shareholders have grown increasingly frustrated at Elon Musk, accusing him of dropping the ball to focus merely on the social media platform.
“Shareholders still seem disappointed and frustrated that Twitter seems to be taking up so much of Elon Musk’s personal, intellectual and financial capital,” Mould said.
Following a tug of war between Musk and Twitter’s board, the buyout was finalised in late October, leading to a period plagued by mass layoffs and advertisers dropping like flies.
Late last month, the serial entrepreneur said he would step back from Twitter if he could find someone “foolish enough” to accept the role.
Mould added that Tesla’s valuation could suffer if Musk doesn’t recapture “the sense of magic and near-infallibility” that allowed Tesla to raise $226m (£187.8m) in its 2010 IPO.
“But if that aura fades and both look no different from anyone else, then Tesla’s valuation could suffer and so could Mr Musk’s ability to convince the market he can keep all of his projects humming at the same time,” Mould added.
Despite losing 65 per cent of its market value in 2022, Tesla remains the world’s most valuable car maker, with a market capitalisation of $388.97bn.
This is down from the $1tn peak it reached in October 2021 and then again in March last year.
Tesla was approached for comment.