Tesla gets a double dose of bad news this week. Is one of the best-performing stocks of 2013 now in trouble?
First, it was reported sales numbers. Now, it's a reported fire. Either way, Tesla can't seem to catch a break. Shares in the electric car manufacturer have fallen 19.5% since Tuesday.
Shares were first hurt this week when the company reported its quarterly sales figures on Tuesday. This was followed by a reports of the third fire in six weeks of its Model S, this time in Smyrna, TN (where Nissan manufacturers its own electric car, the Leaf). Tesla noted that the fire was the result of an accident and released this statement in response:
"We have been in contact with the driver, who was not injured and believes the car saved his life. Our team is on its way to Tennessee to learn more about what happened in the accident. We will provide more information when we're able to do so."
(Read more: Yet another Model S fire puts heat on Tesla)
Earlier in the week, Tesla has released its earnings data for the third quarter of 2013. Its adjusted earnings were $0.12 per share, a penny higher than Wall Street expected. The company's non-GAAP revenues were $603 million, also higher than analysts' forecasts. What's more, the company's sales of 5,500 cars for the quarter were 500 more vehicles than the company thought they would be. Tesla forecasts it will deliver a little less than 6,000 cars in the fourth quarter of 2013.
Yet, Wall Street was disappointed because those delivery numbers were lower than they had anticipated. The company's valuation prices not just growth but A LOT of growth. Even with this week's drop, the company is still worth a little more than $17 billion, about a third the value of General Motors. To put things in perspective, GM will sell more cars in three days than Tesla will sell in 2013.
But don't weep for Tesla shareholder just yet. Even though the stock lost a quarter of its value in a little over a month and is trading where it was back in August, it's still up 314% in 2013.
So, will recent figures mean the highflying stock is headed back down to earth? Or, is this the growth story of the decade with much more room on the upside for shares?
Looking at Tesla from the fundamentals is Zachary Karabell, president of River Twice Research. " They certainly have proven that there's a different way to manufacture cars [and] there's a different technology that can fuel cars," says Karabell. Still, while he's a fan of what the company does, its valuation may be a different issue. "I have every confidence this is going to be one of the great disruptive companies even though I don't think the stock is currently well-priced."
Jeff Tomasulo, Managing Partner at Belpointe, says the stock's parabolic price movement makes it tough for technical analysis. "When you have a stock that explodes and looks completely vertical," says Tomasulo, "It's really hard to make good decisions on what's true support and what's not true support [for the stock price]."
Still, Tomasulo says there are three key levels of support for the stock. Right now, the stock is getting close to the first one he sees, $140 per share.
To see where Karabell on the fundamentals and Tomasulo on the technicals think Tesla is headed next, watch the video above.
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