Tesla Car Sales Estimate Cut 10% by Morgan Stanley on Virus Woes

Tesla Inc. will probably sell about 10% fewer cars this year than previously expected as the coronavirus outbreak weighs on demand for vehicles, Morgan Stanley said.

The bank slashed its 2020 sales target for Tesla to deliver 452,000 cars from the previous estimate of 500,000, according to a note to clients Thursday. Morgan Stanley reduced itsprice target on the stock to $480 a share from $500 and kept its underweight rating.

Tesla’s volumes will probably drop about 10% in Europe this year, hurt by the coronavirus and softening of incentives in markets such as Norway and the Netherlands, the Morgan Stanley analysts led by Adam Jonas wrote. Analysts areparing back forecasts for the industry as a whole as consumers stay away from showrooms and shun big ticket purchases.

“A Tesla is a high priced and discretionary purchase,” the Morgan Stanley analysts wrote. “It is reasonable to assume that sentiment and financial strength for Tesla’s backlog will likely in some way be impacted by the sharp correction in global markets as well as the concerns around public safety and interruption in personal mobility.”

Shares of Tesla fell 1.7% to $634.23 in New York Wednesday. The stock has surged 52% this year following two straight quarters of better-than-expected earnings.

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