Tesla’s California Registrations Surge 63% in 4Q – Report


Tesla’s vehicle registrations recorded in California, its largest US market, spiked almost 63% in the fourth quarter versus the same period last year, according to a Reuters report, which cited data from Cross-Sell.

The data showed that the quarterly registrations were largely driven by demand for Tesla’s (TSLA) Model Y. Registration numbers in California, a bellwether for the electric vehicle (EV) maker, rebounded from a third-quarter low of about 16,200 vehicles to around 22,117 vehicles in the three months ended December, according to the report released on Wednesday.

In the state of California, about 11,417 registrations were recorded for Tesla’s Model Y compact crossover utility vehicle, which exceeded those for the Model 3. Registrations for Tesla’s Model 3 mass-market sedan dropped 34% on a yearly basis to 7,044.

Total fourth-quarter vehicle registrations in the 23 states, where data was collected, stood at 44,749, with Model Y accounting for nearly half the registrations, Reuters reported.

For 2020, the EV maker reported 2020 deliveries of 499,550 cars, which surpassed analysts’ expectations of 481,261 units, but fell fractionally short of CEO Elon Musk’s 500,000 target. Tesla is scheduled to release fourth-quarter results after market close on Jan. 27.

Shares have skyrocketed 733% over the past year as demand for EVs is on the rise and the stock was included in the benchmark S&P 500 Index. (See TSLA stock analysis on TipRanks)

Nonetheless, Oppenheimer analyst Colin Rusch this week lifted the stock’s price target to a Street-high $1,036 (22% upside potential) and reiterated a Buy rating.

“Given TSLA stock doubling again since November, we believe investors are grappling with where shares go from here. We believe bulls are betting on TSLA leading commercialization of autonomous vehicles technology,” Rusch wrote in a note to investors. “While we continue to have misgivings about risks related to TSLA not incorporating LiDAR into its vehicles yet, we believe the learning cycles enabled by having over 1M vehicles on the road is an extraordinary advantage.”

The past year’s rally has left the rest of Wall Street analysts mostly sidelined on the stock. The Hold analyst consensus shows 13 Holds, 6 Sells and 7 Buys. That’s with an average price target of $ 588.68, implying 31% downside potential lies ahead over the coming 12 months.

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