EV company’s stock rattled by lackluster guidance, Chinese market challenges, and Elon Musk’s controversial behavior

### Tesla (TSLA) Stock Plummets in Q1: A Deep Dive into the Rollercoaster Ride

The first quarter of 2024 has been a turbulent one for Tesla (TSLA) shareholders as the EV giant faced a series of challenges that led to a steep decline in its stock price. In fact, Tesla emerged as the worst-performing stock in the S&P 500 (^GSPC) during this period, with its stock price plummeting by 29.3%. This stands in stark contrast to the overall performance of the S&P 500, which posted a 10.2% gain for the first quarter, marking its best first quarter since 2019.

So, what exactly caused this downward spiral for Tesla? Let’s break it down.

#### Poor Guidance and Lack of Clarity

At the start of the quarter, Tesla seemed to be on solid ground, with the company reporting record Q4 deliveries of 485K vehicles. However, things took a turn when Tesla released its Q4 earnings report in late January. The company issued lower guidance, indicating that its vehicle volume growth rate may fall short of expectations. This, coupled with a dip in automotive profit margin due to price cuts, raised concerns among investors and analysts.

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Morgan Stanley’s Adam Jonas expressed his disappointment with Tesla’s lack of clarity and forward guidance, highlighting the need for more transparency from the company. Additionally, Tesla’s plans for its next-generation vehicle, slated for production in the second half of 2025, raised questions about the company’s ability to sustain its growth trajectory.

#### China Woes Add to the Pressure

Tesla’s troubles in China further compounded its challenges in the first quarter. The company announced price cuts for its models in the country, triggering a sales decline compared to the previous year. Reports of reduced production at Tesla’s Giga Shanghai factory also fueled worries about the company’s performance in the Chinese market.

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#### Musk’s Antics and Legal Battles

As if poor guidance and China woes weren’t enough, CEO Elon Musk’s antics during the quarter added to the turbulence surrounding Tesla. Musk’s comments on artificial intelligence and his demand for more control over Tesla raised concerns among investors, leading to a drop in Tesla’s stock price. Moreover, ongoing litigation over Musk’s $56 billion pay package further fueled uncertainty among shareholders.

Looking Ahead

As Tesla investors brace for the Q1 delivery report, all eyes are on the company’s performance moving forward. Will Tesla be able to bounce back from a challenging first quarter and regain investor confidence? Only time will tell.

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