Shares of Tesla Motors, Inc. (TSLA) are under severe pressure in the pre-market session Wednesday morning, down almost 2% after the company reported fourth quarter delivery numbers that fell short of its own forecast.
The electric car maker said it delivered roughly 22,200 cars. Some 2,750 vehicles were not counted due to delays in transport or the customer being unavailable to take the delivery. This brings total deliveries in the year to 76,230, short of the company's projection of 80,000 to 90,000.
In a statement released Tuesday evening, the company said, "Because of short-term production challenges starting at the end of October and lasting through early December from the transition to new Autopilot hardware, Q4 vehicle production was weighted more heavily towards the end of the quarter than we had originally planned. We were ultimately able to recover and hit our production goal, but the delay in production resulted in challenges that impacted quarterly deliveries, including, among other things, cars missing shipping cutoffs for Europe and Asia."
As it stands, this quarter marks the third consecutive year Tesla has missed its own delivery guidance by at least 1,000 vehicles. Notably, it has missed by some 2,500 vehicles in the back half of both six-month spans. The company says full-year deliveries will reach just north of 76,000. While that's not a horrific total, it is still about 5% to 15% short of the 80,000 to 90,000 vehicle total that the company has promised for much of last year.
All told, after multiple guidance cuts during 2016, the report, though disappointing, is far from a surprise. The bigger question, however, is regarding vehicle demand going forward. In that vein, Tesla remains confident. "Vehicle demand in Q4 was particularly strong," the company said. "Q4 net orders for Model S and X, which were an all-time record for us, were 52% higher than Q4 2015 and 24% higher than our previous record quarter in Q3 2016."
As to what this news ultimately means for Tesla stock? It remains to be seen. But for the fact that the shares are down just 2% suggests that the market had expected another miss. Tesla stock has declined 10% over the past twelve months, compared with a 10% rise in the S&P 500 (SPX) index.