Tesla Motors Inc. fell Thursday after the company, aiming to dramatically boost production, withdrew its projection to generate more cash than it uses this year and said it will probably need to raise capital.
Shares in the electric-car maker fell 4.9 percent to $211.71 at 1:28 p.m. New York time. The shares had surged late Wednesday and early Thursday after Tesla moved ahead by two years its target date for reaching annual production of 500,000 vehicles before sinking on skepticism about the ambitious assembly goals and concerns about cash.
Tesla said in a letter to shareholders Wednesday that to meet the new production target, capital expenditures this year will probably be about $750 million more than the $1.5 billion originally planned. A capital raise of about $2 billion would dilute current owners by about 7 percent, UBS analyst Colin Langan wrote in a note.
“Ultimately, we see the new volume targets as too aggressive, setting up investors for disappointment,” he wrote.
Some investors may even view the move cynically as a “perfect rationale for a large equity capital raise which might have otherwise been needed or at any rate desired, due to ongoing free cash burn and liquidity comfort levels,” Ryan Brinkman of JPMorgan Chase & Co. wrote in a note.