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Why Tesla Stock Is Down Wednesday

Daniel Sparks, The Motley Fool

What happened

Shares of Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) continued to slide lower on Wednesday. The stock fell as much as 5.7% but was down 4.5% as of 12:47 p.m. EDT.

Tesla's decline follows yet another bearish take on the stock from an analyst.

Tesla vehicles, including the Model 3, Tesla Semi, Model S, and Model X

Tesla vehicles. Image source: Tesla.

So what

On Wednesday, Citi Research analyst Itay Michaeli lowered his 12-month price target for the electric-car maker's stock from $238 to $191 while maintaining a sell rating.

"The risk/reward still appears negatively skewed despite the recent capital raise and stock pullback, mainly on lingering demand/free cash flow concerns," said Michaeli (via Barron's). Signs of trouble for the company include Tesla's recent cost-cutting measures and price cuts, the analyst said. In addition, the company's dependence on China for some of its sales growth could be a risk, he argued.

Now what

Though Tesla's combined first-quarter Model S and X deliveries fell both sequentially and year over year and Model 3 deliveries were down sequentially, management maintained an optimistic tone about the rest of the year in its first-quarter update. The company said it expected to be cash flow positive during the current quarter and in the second half of the year while growing full-year deliveries 45% to 65% year over year. However, a growing number of analysts seem to be betting the automaker was overoptimistic.

Editor's note: A previous version of this article said Tesla's total vehicle deliveries fell year over year. The article was corrected to state that only Model S and X deliveries were down year over year. The author regrets the error.

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Daniel Sparks owns shares of Tesla. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Tesla. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.