Tesla shares wipe out loss for the year with 27% rally this week


Tesla’s stock price rose enough on Friday to wipe out its loss for the year and bring its gain for the week to 27%.

Shares of the electric vehicle maker closed Friday at $251.55. They ended last year at $248.48, and proceeded to fall as low as $138.80 in April.

The latest rally was sparked by a better-than-expected deliveries report for the second quarter on Tuesday. While deliveries still dropped 4.8% from a year earlier, the falloff was less steep than the first-quarter decline, and gave investors reasons for optimism heading into the second half.

In April, Tesla shares hit a 52-week low after a string of troubling developments. Sales in the core automotive business fell in the first quarter, the company downsized through sweeping layoffs and there were reports that Tesla had scrapped plans to soon produce a low-cost family car at its Texas factory.

Tesla is set to deliver second-quarter financial results after the bell on July 23. Automotive gross margins are likely to be in focus.

Since last year, Tesla has been offering extensive discounts and incentives to attract customers to its aging lineup of EVs, including its popular entry-level Model 3 sedans, Model Y crossover utility vehicles and its more expensive flagship Model S sedans and Model X SUVs.

In late 2023, Tesla started selling its angular Cybertruck. A Tesla Cybertruck account on social media site X posted on Thursday that the truck had become the bestselling fully electric pickup in the U.S. in the second quarter.

Ford reported sales of its fully electric model, the F-150 Lightning, totaling 7,902 in the second quarter and 15,645 through June of this year.

Tesla did not respond to CNBC’s request for more information.

Beyond the upcoming earnings report, Cantor Fitzgerald analysts wrote in a note on Tuesday that they expect a marketing event — Tesla’s Robotaxi Day — early next month to be a catalyst for the stock.

“TSLA has previously disclosed plans for a Robotaxi (or Cybercab), which the company plans to unveil on August 8,” they wrote. “Although we don’t expect this segment to launch prior to 2027, we do expect it to be a meaningful business segment for the company over the long term.”

Still, Cantor Fitzgerald expects Tesla to deliver fewer cars this year than last. The firm has a price target of $230 on Tesla and recommends buying the stock.

While Tesla has bounced back, it is lagging behind the broader market for the year. The Nasdaq is up 22% in 2024, and the S&P 500 has gained 17%. Tesla is now up 1.2%.

A recent Axios Harris poll found the company is experiencing brand deterioration that is at least partly due to Musk’s “antics” and “political rants.” A New York Times survey out this week also said Musk’s “polarizing statements” and “political activity” are driving away some “left-leaning consumers.”

Tesla is also still years delayed in delivering software that can turn its existing vehicles into self-driving cars. Musk announced on Oct. 19, 2016, that all Tesla cars being produced at that time had the necessary hardware to make them self-driving. But in late June, he said another hardware and sensor setup is on the way to enable that capability.

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