Rising production and slowing sales have led Tesla (TSLA) to cut the price of the cheapest Model 3 sedan, built in China, by 5% to 265,900 yuan ($36,774), today, Monday, October 24. The company dropped the starting price of the Model Y SUV by 8.8% to 288,900 yuan. The roots of the problem include competition from local Chinese electric vehicle makers led by BYD Co. (BYDDY)–which sold a record 200,973 vehicles last month
Selling Tesla tomorrow out of the Volatility Portfolio on China slowdown and trade war uncertainties.
Even before the Biden administration launched a new U.S./China trade war by imposing restrictions on U.S. exports of advanced chip technology, Tesla (TSLA) was facing a sales slowdown in China. Now, with what I regard as the near certainty that Tesla will be one of the choice targets in any Chinese retaliation, I think it’s time to sell Tesla and get out of the way of what looks like a truly nasty tit-for-tat war of sanctions and restrictions. Tomorrow, October 12, I’m selling Tesla out of my Volatility Portfolio with a loss of 63.74% since I added it to the portfolio on November 10, 2021, near what would turn out to be the high before the onset of today’s Bear Market for technology stocks.
If you liked the Trump administration’s trade war with China, you’ll love the Biden administration’s new, more dangerous, escalated version. Rather than slapping tariffs on Chinese goods, and inviting retaliatory tariffs by China on American products, the Biden administration war limits the same of advanced semiconductors and chip-making equipment to Chines companies. The action is aimed straight at the heart of China’s efforts to build its own chip industry. And it plays right into a belief, stoked by China’s President Xi Jinping, that China is the victim of a Western plot to prevent the country’s rise to its rightful place in the global order. And the opening blows in this trade war come just as President Xi aims to be installed as China’s newest preeminent leader with a status near that of Mao. I don’t know what the retaliation from China will be, but it is unlikely to stop with a few restrictions on how U.S. companies, such as Tesla (TSLA) and Apple (AAPL) operate in China. The situation is so dangerous because it is so uncertain and so open-ended.
Update for September 20 With One New Pick: Glitches and opportunities abound in the green initiatives of the Inflation Reduction Act–here’s how to profit from them ( 3 battery minerals picks)
It’s time to move on from relief/enthusiasm/grudging acceptance of the $369 billion in the Inflation Reduction Act for programs designed to speed up the transition to clean energy and to de-carbonize the economy. The surprise–and in many quarters–appreciation that the United States is doing anything–and it’s a big anything–about climate change has led to big rallies in the stocks of electric vehicle charging companies and hydrogen-economy pioneers. For example, EVgo (EVGO), obviously, I think< an electric vehicle charging stock is up 48.14% in the last month as of the close on August 17. Plug Power (PLUG), one of those hydrogen economy pioneers, is up 84,15% in the last month as of the August 17 close.But I think it's time to go from the general amazement stage to an examination of what companies--and stocks--are actually going to be winners because of the Inflation Reduction Act. (And I say that not only because some of these early winners have started to show some weakness--profit taking perhaps. But also I would pay attention to these near-term trends. EVgo, for example, fell to $10.74 a share on August 17 from $12.02 on August 16. That's a 10.6% tumble.) The bill as finally passed is a masterpiece of compromises and add-ons that mean that many of the top line dollars won't wind up where recent headlines have suggested. My take?
The long-term case for buying Tesla (TSLA) is easy to make (or easy to argue.) The company has created electric vehicle technology that delivers faster speeds, longer range, and greater efficiency than any of its emerging competitors. The company has done a superlative job of building out its global supply chain so that it has suffered less disruption due to raw material glitches or chip shortages than any of its competitors. The big long-term questions for Tesla are Can it drive costs out of its production system? and How long will it take for competitors to catch up with Tesla’s technology advantage? (Just for the record I come down on the “buy” Tesla side on these questions.) In the short term the buy/sell/hold case for Tesla is more complicated.
Finally, on Friday, August 5, in documents filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission Tesla put dates to the split its 3/1 split
The Standard & Poor’s 500 was on track for a decent day–the index was up 0.79% at 12:43 p.m. New York time–and then Bloomberg broke a story, picked up everywhere, reporting that Apple (AAPL) intended to slow hiring and reduce spending growth next year. The S&P 500 finished the day down 0.84% and Apple shares closed down 2.06%.
New registrations for electric vehicles jumped 60% in the first quarter of 2022 from the first quarter of 2021. according to Experian Automotive. Electric vehicles made up an all-time record 4.6% of the total market. The news was even more positive given that overall new vehicle registrations were down 18% in the quarter from the first quarter of 2021.
Tesla (TSLA) crushed Wall Street projections for first quarter earnings today, Wednesday, April 20. After the market close, the company reported record revenue of $18.756 billion, up 80.5% from the first quarter of 2021. (Wall Street analysts had expected revenue of $17.76 billon.) And earnings of $3.22 a share. That was well ahead of Wall Street expectations for $2.89 a share.
Forget about all the hoopla over Tesla (TSLA) founder Elon Musk’s bid to buy Twitter (TWTR). (If you can.) On Wednesday, when the electric car leader announces first quarter 2022 earnings the story will be China, China, China.
This week’s trend of the week is Lidar, which is a light-based navigation technology (like radar but with lasers) that is being used for self-driving cars. Companies in this area include Luminar (LAZR), Ouster (OUST), Velodyne Lidar (VLDR), and Innoviz Technologies (INVZ). And tomorrow I’ll be adding one of these stocks to my Millennial Portfolio
Yesterday I picked Tesla (TSLA) as No. 14 in my Buy on the Dip Special Report. I put the stock in a group along with Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and Nvidia (NVDA) that I called Buy on the Regret. These were stocks that lots of investors who didn’t yet own wanted to own and would bid up at the the least opportunity. But I wrote yesterday, I thought Tesla shares had been pounded so hard in the last few days that I quick reversal was unlikely. I’d prefer to buy when I’d seen shares stabilize or drift high. Wrong. Which is why they play the game and not simply decide who wins by comparing the lineups. Today Tesla shares closed up 4.34% on the day.