Tesla Reports Lackluster 2019 Q1 Delivery Count, Stocks Drop More Than 10 Percent by EOD

The EV-maker’s numbers were “substantially worse than expected,” according to a J.P. Morgan analyst, and Tesla is feeling the repercussions. 

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On Wednesday evening, Tesla released its final numbers for deliveries during the first quarter of 2019, disappointing investment firms who had overestimated the automaker's total performance and sending stocks plummeting.

In total, Tesla delivered 63,000 vehicles in Q1 2019. While this number may be up 110 percent when compared to the same period last year, it still shows a substantial decline of 31 percent when compared to Q4 2018.

Tesla says that it delivered 50,900 Model 3s through March, a 520 percent increase when compared to this time last year; however, that’s a 20 percent slump compared to last quarter. The automaker also reports delivering a combined total of 12,100 Model S and X vehicles, a 49 percent decline compared to Q1 2018 (YOY) and 56 percent decline from Q4 2018. Approximately 10,600 vehicles were still in transit at the end of the quarter.

Despite the disappointing numbers, Tesla says that the Model 3 remains the highest selling premium mid-sized sedan by selling 60 percent more units than its runner up.

“Tesla’s 1Q19 vehicle production & deliveries report was substantially worse than expected,” said Ryan Brinkman, a J.P. Morgan analyst who had been waiting for the automaker's announcement following the end of its first quarter in 2019. As of March 27, the firm had believed that Tesla would report the delivery of around 74,930 vehicles, a number which overestimated actual deliveries by more than 16 percent. JPM was nearly spot-on with estimated vehicles in transit, however, estimating 10,000 vehicles were still tied-up in logistics.

The market aptly responded by sending the automaker's stocks into a free fall. Stock prices fell more than 10 percent in premarket trading, from $291.81 to $261.50 and lower at the time of writing.

Carnage is unlikely to let up. CEO Elon Musk's argument against the SEC's claims of contempt is due to be held in front of a New York Federal judge on Thursday and disappointing numbers point at Musk's prior predictions of sales being largely incorrect. Should Musk be held in contempt or settle on unfavorable terms in the near future, it's not clear how Tesla's stock prices will respond.