Tesla stock dives after earnings, warns of ‘slower growth’

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Tesla fell short of Wall Street expectations in its fourth quarter earnings released after the closing bell on Wednesday, sending shares tumbling more than 5% in extended trading.

The electric vehicle giant’s revenue rose 3% to $25.17 billion, short of the $25.62 billion expected from analysts, according to LSEG data. The gain marks Tesla’s slowest pace of growth in more than three years.

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The Austin, Texas-based company reported a gross margin of 17.6% for the three months ending in December, falling short of analysts’ average estimate of 18.3%. During the same quarter a year earlier, Tesla posted a gross margin of 23.8%.

Tesla also posted record deliveries for the quarter and had lower battery raw materials costs, but price cuts and expenses associated with the ramp up of its new Cybertuck pushed margins lower.

Tesla reached its delivery goal of 1.8 million cars last year, but slashed prices several times.

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On Tuesday, longtime Tesla shareholder Ross Gerber criticized the leadership of CEO Elon Musk during an interview on FOX Business’ “The Claman Countdown,” expressing concern over the direction of the EV giant and its’ dynamic pricing model.

“When they make more cars, they have to lower prices to sell them because, essentially, they’re not creating any new demand. And most of the EV buyers who want an EV have bought an EV,” Gerber said. “So I don’t see where Tesla goes from a sense of earnings. They’ll sell more cars, but I don’t see how they make more money doing that with their current strategy.”

The earnings report is disappointing for Tesla’s investors.

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“What we’re really hoping for is not a miss. And that’s really my concern,” Gerber said ahead of the earnings report release, “because obviously, they’ve been having to discount and throw lots of incentives to sell the cars that they’re making. So that’s what we’re really hoping, is just that they beat the number.”

FOX Business’ Aislinn Murphy, Kristen Altus and Reuters contributed to this report.

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