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Is Tesla's Q4 Delivery Miss Cause For Concern? 'Bulls Will Not Be Super Happy'

Tesla TSLA reported its year-end vehicle production and delivery numbers for 2022 on Monday, falling behind Wall Street estimates by about 3%.

The company founded by Elon Musk delivered around 1.31 million vehicles last year, or 40% growth compared to the units delivered during 2021.

In a historical first, the company surpassed 400,000 vehicles delivered in a single quarter during the fourth quarter. 

“We continued to transition towards a more even regional mix of vehicle builds which again led to a further increase in cars in transit at the end of the quarter,” Tesla said in a statement.

Early Reactions To Tesla’s Q4 Deliveries: Gary Black, managing partner of The Future Fund, said on Twitter there is no way to sugarcoat the fact that Tesla missed a consensus on delivered units for the fourth quarter. Tesla delivered 405,000 units against a consensus estimate  of between 418,000 and 427,000.

“Is the miss due to a change to a more even regional mix of builds or are there demand issues?” said Black.

Wedbush analyst Dan Ives said that “while bulls will not be super happy,” he believes the fourth quarter saw relatively good performance in a tough backdrop.

For the analyst, the fourth quarter results came in above the worst-case fears of not reaching 400,000 delivered units “in a jittery macro” environment, the analyst said in a tweet. 

Investor and influencer Kevin Paffrath, best known as Meet Kevin, said that “not many companies grow like this during recessions” and called the results “incredible growth during a difficult year.”

The investor added that a 3.7% miss on estimates is not a “huge miss” as other commentators have said.

Benzinga’s Take: The Chinese market will play a substantial role in demand for Tesla vehicles in the years to come and could be the moving piece that makes or breaks Tesla’s demand health.

A recession-like global scenario could affect demand for Tesla vehicles as consumer prices spike in the developed world. Supply chain disruptions and  commercial and military tensions between the U.S. and China also make for a muddy terrain in Tesla’s near future.

Shutterstock image.

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