(Bloomberg) — Tesla Inc. shares have fallen so far, so fast that some individual investors are piling in, seeing a chance to pick up what was once Wall Street’s highest flying stock on the cheap.
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But would-be bargain hunters may want to take a closer look.
Even after this year’s record 65% drop, the electric-car maker’s meteoric surge during 2020 and 2021 has left it with stock-market value of $389 billion, more than Toyota Motor Corp., General Motors Co., Stellantis NV and Ford Motor Co. combined.
And the shares still trade at a higher valuation — relative to expected earnings — than most major technology giants, showing anticipation that the company will see the heady growth that Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk has promised and dominate the industry in years to come.
In the short term, though, the company is facing mounting challenges, including rising costs, competitive threats, and the risk that a recession will slow demand. At the same time, Musk has been distracted by his takeover of Twitter, a transaction that’s weighed on the stock due to speculation he could sell more Tesla shares to keep the money-losing social-media company afloat and take his eye off running the carmaker.
“Tesla was priced for perfection — and perfection is hard to come by,” said Catherine Faddis, senior portfolio manager at Fernwood Investment Management. “People are asking themselves, exactly why should it trade at so much of a premium?”
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