Barclays: Tesla is Stalling as a Niche Automaker

The brokerage firm does not see a path to profitability for Tesla

Managing Editor
May 30, 2019 at 9:50 AM
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The shares of Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) are down 0.3% to trade at $189.22 today, after Barclays trimmed its price target to $150 from $192. The analyst in coverage said Tesla is "stalling as a niche automaker," and waxed pessimistic about the stagnating Model 3 demand, as well as a path to profitability. In summation, Barclays said Tesla "has a lot of catching up to do, and the market seems to be coming around to our 'red pill' view." 

Thanks to a cash flow warning and a slew of bear notes, Tesla stock is heading toward its fourth straight weekly loss, and is about to wrap up its worst month since March 2018. The shares fell to a two-year bottom of $185.04 yesterday, extending its year-to-date losses to 43%. Perhaps the only silver lining is that going into today, the security's 14-day Relative Strength Index (RSI) stood at 24 -- deep in oversold territory.

The bevy of short sellers around TSLA have likely enjoyed the last few months. Short interest increased by 12.3% in the two most recent reporting periods to 37.57 million shares, which accounts for a whopping 28% of the equity's total available float.

There's also pessimism in the options pits. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), TSLA's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 1.22 ranks in the 85th annual percentile, meaning puts have been bought to open over calls at a quicker-than-usual clip.


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