Tesla To Miss Street Estimate On Q1 Deliveries But Don't Be Alarmed, Says Munster

Tesla To Miss Street Estimate On Q1 Deliveries But Don't Be Alarmed, Says Munster

Tesla Inc. (TSLA) is expected to miss Wall Street expectations of 174,000 deliveries for the first quarter due to near-term headwinds, but that's not a cause for concern, according to long-time Tesla analyst Gene Munster.

What Happened: Munster, the managing partner and co-founder of venture capital firm Loup Ventures, expects Tesla to deliver “closer to” 160,000 vehicles in the first quarter. The company reported deliveries of 88,400 vehicles in the prior-year quarter and 180,667 vehicles in the preceding fourth quarter.

Tesla is scheduled to release its first-quarter delivery numbers later this week. The company is coming off a year in which it delivered a record 499,550 vehicles.

However, Munster said there was no cause for alarm as reasons for Tesla likely missing delivery estimates in the quarter are temporary, and the near-term headwinds will eventually turn into long-term tailwinds.

Near-Term Headwinds: The headwinds cited by Munster include the Chinese New Year - as China is an important part of the Tesla growth story, a typically soft March quarter for the auto industry, and fewer days in the first quarter.

Munster also noted that there were four incremental headwinds for Tesla in the March quarter. These include the chip shortage that continues to impact automakers, upcoming tax credits, the Model S and X refresh, and a small fire at the Fremont factory that led to a little bit of “production hiccup” for Tesla earlier this month.

Long-Term Tailwinds: However, the headwinds of the tax credit and refresh of the Model S and X are expected by Munster to turn into long-term tailwinds for Tesla. Rumors of a refresh of the Model S and X have been swirling for a while

Munster feels Tesla is on the right track and is “going to participate nicely” in the future of electrification of vehicles, autonomy and other energy-related products.

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