Panasonic has announced that it will cease solar manufacturing operations at the Tesla factory by the end of May. The TSLA stock price is falling.
The technological company Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) decided to abandon its work on making solar cells with the Japanese electronics company Panasonic Corporation (TYO: 6752).
Tesla (TSLA) stock yesterday lost 2%. And it continued falling. At the premarket trading, it lost around 5.6% and fell to $735. The market cap is 143.602 billion.
Tesla and Panasonic Ending Partnership
The two decided to part ways after agreeing that the solar cell output at Tesla’s Gigafactory 2 in Buffalo is unlikely to increase. Panasonic’s cells, which were supposed to be used in Tesla’s solar panels, reportedly failed to provide the design, efficiency and cost the company was looking for, according to Nikkei Asian Review news outlet.
Despite stopping their joint venture in solar cell production, the American based company intends to keep Panasonic on to make automotive batteries for its electric vehicles.
Situation with Panasonic Will Not Affect Further Operations of Tesla
The companies decided to work together back in 2016 by creating the joint venture that will focus on producing solar cells at Tesla’s Gigafactory 2 in upstate New York. The production of the core components for solar panels in Buffalo factory began in 2017. Both companies then agreed that solar cells made by Panasonic would be used for Tesla’s solar panels as well.
According to Tesla, the planned exit will not have any effect on the company’s future solar growth business plans.
Also, both companies agreed they will continue their electric vehicle battery work taking place at Tesla’s Gigafactory outside of Reno.
Panasonic explained that it plans to sell its own solar panels to U.S. customers through its own distribution network.
When Tesla released its fourth-quarter update, management proudly announced the manufacturing of its solar roofs had been growing at a fast pace. Furthermore, Tesla said it started cooperating with few roofing companies in order to help install solar roofs.
The company also recently started with its own solar rental service for solar panels, in which customers can pay only $50 per month to have a solar system installed on their own house. The subscription system has also a warranty and support, and there are no installation fees or long-term contracts. Also, you can cancel it anytime.
Jefferies Cuts Its Ratings on Tesla
American multinational independent investment bank and financial services company Jefferies Group LLC cut recently its rating on Tesla with an explanation that there needs to be a better understanding of its battery business model.
Jefferies analyst Philippe Houchois downgraded Tesla from Buy to Hold. However, he raised the price target from $600 to $800.
Houchois explained the rating cut was waiting for a better view on Tesla’s upcoming battery business model. The model could be presented in the second quarter at something called “Battery Day.”
“The stock’s high valuation — shares are up 60% just since Jan. 14 — needs to be grounded into some visibility on market size and potential profitability. We continue to see Tesla as uniquely engaged in a positive sum-game in the EV transition against legacy OEMs facing more severe strategic choices.”
Houchois also added Tesla’s 2020 first-quarter results could be a key catalyst.
“The combination of disruption in China and Model Y launch should yield a weakish Q1.”
The company’s revenue in the fourth quarter of 2019 was $7.38 billion, rising 2% compared to the same period a year earlier and topping market estimates. GAAP earnings per share fell 28% year on year to $0.58 but were still better than analysts had expected, while net income dropped 25% to $105 million. Adjusted EPS rallied 7% to $2.14.
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