Tesla delivery numbers in early 2023 could be a letdown: analyst

·2 min read

The Tesla trade may be in for a few more blown tires right out of the gate in 2023.

The EV maker is slated to report its fourth-quarter delivery and production figures right after the new year, and they could be a letdown, Deutsche Bank analyst Emmanuel Rosner warned in a new client note.

Ahead of the release, Rosner slashed his estimates for Tesla's deliveries, sales, and profits. Rosner sees fourth-quarter earnings coming in at $1.05 per share, below current analyst forecasts for $1.24.

The auto analyst says the estimate cuts reflect some economic weakness in China, as well as the postponement of deliveries into the first quarter in the U.S. from some consumers to benefit from the Inflation Reduction Act’s EV incentives.

Shares of Tesla have crashed nearly 70% from a high on Jan. 3 of this year. The stock is down over 34% so far this month alone.

Most of the losses for Tesla investors started after CEO Elon Musk offered to buy Twitter in April, a deal that closed in late October and is perhaps just as concerning among investors as slowing global sales.

Those losses have returned aggressively in December on worries Musk's chaotic leadership of Twitter will hurt Tesla.

Rosner isn't alone on Wall Street in having reservations on Tesla's fundamentals entering 2023, excluding the sideshow that has become Musk and Twitter.

"It's very concerning about the weakness that we're seeing in China," Wells Fargo analyst Colin Langan said on Yahoo Finance Live (video above). "We are seeing incentives go up, and sales actually are not increasing there. And [a] driving concern is: Are we going to start seeing that in the U.S. and Europe? Is that just sort of the early days of softening demand? And I think that is really more of the large institutional investors' top concern."

To that end, Tesla said on its website Wednesday it will offer $7,500 discounts on Model 3 and Model Y vehicles delivered in the U.S. in December.

Tesla shares fell more than 8% in Thursday's session.

Tesla logo and Elon Musk silhouette are seen in this illustration taken, December 19, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration
Tesla logo and Elon Musk silhouette are seen in this illustration taken, December 19, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and anchor at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

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