Analyst Targets 50% Haircut for Tesla Stock

TTS and EAT are trading near multi-year lows after bearish brokerage notes

Oct 3, 2017 at 9:53 AM
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Analysts are weighing in on electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA), tile manufacturer Tile Shop Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:TTS), and restaurant stock Brinker International, Inc. (NYSE:EAT). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes on shares of TSLA, TTS, and EAT.

Tesla Production Falls Short

Tesla last night said that it fell short of its goal to build 1,500 Model 3 vehicles in the third quarter, producing just 260. The news comes just after rival General Motors (GM) said it will begin building electric vehicles sooner than expected, and has TSLA shares down 2% at $334.68.

Against this backdrop, BofA-Merrill Lynch's John Murphy reiterated an "underperform" rating and tepid $155 price target on TSLA stock, representing a discount of more than 50% to the equity's current price. Goldman Sachs also underscored its "sell" rating and $210 price target.

Since topping a record high of $389.61 on Sept. 18, Tesla shares have shed more than 14%, and analysts haven't been shy about expressing skepticism. As of last night's close, 11 of 16 brokerages maintained a "hold" or worse rating, while the average 12-month price target stands at $318.63 -- territory not charted since early August.

TTS Stock Paces Nasdaq Losers

Tile Shop stock is down 35.2% at $8.70 -- a fresh two-year low of $8.60, and is leading the losers on the Nasdaq this morning. Today's sell-off comes after the firm reported lower-than-expected third-quarter sales estimates and pulled its full-year forecast. In response, Telsey Advisory cut its rating to "underperform" from "market perform" and slashed its price target by $10 to $7, a level not seen since January 2015.

TTS was already down 32.5% heading into today's trading, and short sellers are likely cheering. Although the stock is short-sale restricted today, short interest jumped 13.5% in the two most recent reporting periods to 3.4 million shares -- 10.22% of Tile Shop's available float.

Brinker International Skims New Lows After Lackluster Stifel Rating

Stifel Nicolaus took aim at the restaurant industry, initiating coverage of Brinker International stock with a tepid "hold" rating. While EAT stock is slightly higher so far in October, the small-cap tends to fare poorly during the month, going back 10 years. According to data from Schaeffer's Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White, the shares have averaged a monthly loss of 8.09%, and have finished October with a win just 30% of the time.

Today, the security is down 0.5% at the open to trade at $31.35, bringing its year-to-date deficit near 37%. With short sellers in control of the shares, it's unlikely EAT's trend will shift any time soon. Short interest surged 24.3% in the two latest reporting periods to 12.16 million shares, more than one-quarter of the stock's available float.

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