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Tesla shares plunge to wipe out $73 billion in market value

Shares in Tesla plunged as much as 11 per cent after the market opened, wiping $73 billion off the company’s market value hours after it warned of slowing growth in electric car sales and an existential threat from Chinese rivals, CNN reported.

In an earnings presentation Wednesday, the world’s most valuable automaker said its sales growth this year “may be notably lower” than last as it continued developing the “next-generation” vehicle, likely a lower-priced model.

While it reported a sizeable 38 per cent increase in deliveries last year compared with 2022, Tesla had previously targeted a 50 per cent annual growth rate averaged over several years, CNN reported.

Tesla’s financial results for the last quarter were also disappointing, with adjusted earnings per share down 40 per cent from a year earlier, and revenue, which rose 3 per cent to top $25 billion, coming in below market forecasts.

It was the second straight quarter the company fell short of earnings forecast by analysts, following a string of better-than-expected results stretching back to the start of 2021.

The stock doubled in price during the course of 2023, but those gains came in during the first half of the year and Tesla shares were off to a weak start in 2024, falling 16 per cent before Wednesday’s earnings report. The stock is currently trading at its lowest level since April last year, CNN reported.

Thursday’s intraday losses were comparable to an unusually large one-day fall of 11.4 per cent in late December 2022. At the time, investors were worried about the outlook for Tesla’s sales and profitability, as well as the health of the US economy, CNN reported.

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