Tesla is facing a “lower-growth period” and there’s downside risk to its fourth-quarter earnings on lower sales, lower volumes and a Cybertruck that still would be far from reaching meaningful production levels.

That’s from Deutsche Bank analyst Emmanuel Rosner, who dialed down his fourth-quarter revenue and profit expectations and said that Tesla

would, at best, confront Wall Street expectations for fourth-quarter unit sales when it next updates the market in early January.

He also predicted a sluggish 2024 for the electric-vehicle maker but kept his buy rating on the company’s stock on greater hopes for the company’s next-generation vehicle platform in 2024. Rosner trimmed his price target on the stock, however, to $260 from $275, representing an upside of around 6% over Thursday prices.

Even if Tesla meets fourth-quarter sales expectations, there’s still “material downside risk to 2024 consensus due to limited volume growth next year,” Rosner said in a note Thursday.

He estimated Tesla would sell 476,000 vehicles in the quarter, allowing the company to reach the 1.8 million vehicles for the year it has guided for.

“But the larger risk we see is downside to expectations for 2024 on both growth and earnings, as Tesla candidly admitted the company is now in an intermediate lower-growth period,” he said.

That follows “very strong” growth years thanks to the Model 3 and Model Y, “which are now getting closer to reaching full volume potential, but before the launch of its next-gen platform which should drive its next high-growth period,” Rosner said.

Deutsche Bank sees “considerable downside risk to earnings expectations, due to still much lower volume outlook than the market believes,” Rosner said. He is modeling fourth-quarter revenue of $24.7 billion, down slightly from his previous expectation of $24.9 billion due to “lower expectations for [average selling prices],” he said.

Rosner also lowered his fourth-quarter per-share earnings forecast to 69 cents, compared with his earlier call of 74 cents a share. Rosner’s expectations contrast with the FactSet consensus for earnings of 73 cents a share on sales of $25.6 billion.

The analyst maintained a bearish outlook for Tesla in 2024, calling for a “muted” volume growth and price declines of around 6% year over year, taking into consideration that the Model 3 will lose all of its consumer tax credits in the U.S. Tesla has said that the Model Y could see fewer credits as well.

Beyond next year, “all eyes remain on Tesla’s [next-generation] platform,” Rosner said. Timing and initial capacity are unknowns, but vehicles built on the next-generation platform are “by far Tesla’s largest growth opportunity,” with the platform potentially supporting annual production of more than 5 million vehicles and “capitalizing on its significant cost superiority compared to other automakers.”

Rosner added: “If Tesla can start deliveries on plan around late 2025, we think it could furnish the market with sufficient reason to look past the largely ex-growth years of 2024-25.”

Tesla reports production and deliveries, its proxy for unit sales, by the quarter. The company doesn’t keep a set plan and the numbers are expected to be released in the first few days in January. The FactSet consensus for fourth-quarter deliveries is for 473,000 vehicles.

Tesla shares have doubled this year, far outpacing an advance of around 23% for the S&P 500 index

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