Tesla plummets after sales warning

Could a recent regulatory filing hint that the electric car maker is ready to be acquired?

By Benzinga Sep 25, 2012 5:16PM
Credit: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images
Caption: The Tesla Model S Signature is shown during a media preview day at the 2012 North American International Auto ShowBy Joe Young

Tesla Motors (TSLA) saw shares plunge nearly 10% Tuesday after warning about sales and production in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company also lowered guidance for its highly anticipated Model S sedan to a range of 2,700 to 3,250 this year, down from previous expectations of 5,000 units.

Not everyone was surprised by the lowered guidance. Analysts from Goldman Sachs said they had expected the delivery projections to fall -- just not as soon as the company announced.

In a report published Tuesday, the Goldman analysts wrote that their conversations with Tesla indicated that executives preferred "de-risking the capital structure to remove as much investor doubt as possible." Clearly, the company is going to continue trying to put investors at ease while attempting to increase the probability of success.

Manufacturing and labor costs, inefficient production and high prices for parts are to blame for the lowered guidance, and Tesla Motors expects gross margins to be impacted negatively during its third quarter because of the Model S delivery limitations. The company recently announced 10 new showrooms in efforts to continue attracting new buyers.

According to Tesla, deliveries for 2013 are expected at around 20,000 units and the company hopes to continue its plan to make the electric car more mainstream. Upon the announcement and SEC filing on Tuesday, shares of Tesla closed down 9.78% and dipped as low as 12% during pre-market trading.

In other Tesla news, the company unveiled its rapid charging station, which can fully charge a vehicle in about an hour and yield 150 miles of travel on just 30 minutes of charging. According to CEO Elon Musk, six roadside super-charging stations have been installed in California.

Year-to-date, shares of Tesla are up 7.35%. It's not easy to start a car company from scratch, but Tesla has made it further than most had expected. Likely a target for acquisitions if news continues to be negative, Tesla Motors is still a highly-anticipated automaker ready to compete in the rest of the plug-in and hybrid vehicle sector.

More from Benzinga

Sep 25, 2012 10:47PM
keep at it tesla! there are those of us out there who support what your doing!

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