Tesla stock price gains a positive outlook from market analysts ahead of the anticipated release of its quarterly earnings for Q1 2021 on Monday, April 26, despite the recent Tesla Autopilot crash that killed two people in Texas recently.
Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) received a bullish support and buy rating from Vijay Rakesh, an analyst from Mizuho Securities. Rakesh raised his stock price forecast for Tesla to $820, a 15 percent increase from $775 price on Monday, according to MarketWatch.
Forbes, meanwhile, estimated Tesla's earnings per share (EPS) at around $0.76--more than three times higher than in the previous year--due to improved cost absorption driven by higher delivers and regulatory credit sales.
The American business media reported that Tesla has already given a glimpse of its first-quarter earnings figures, citing that the company sold a total of 184,000 vehicles during the period.
The said figure is equivalent to a 2.2 percent increase compared to the previous quarter's earnings and a 109 percent year-over-year (YoY) growth. Forbes estimates Tesla's revenues at around $10 billion.
While it is lower than the projected $10.2 billion, it is still a double-digit growth at around 67 percent compared to last year.
Analysts associated the decline with Tesla's decision to stop the production of the Tesla Model S and the Tesla Model X in Q1 2021 as new versions are coming soon.
Positive Tesla stock forecasts came after it fell 3.4 percent on Monday due to the reports connected to the Tesla Autopilot crash involving a 2019 Model S car with nobody manually driving it, according to police investigators.
Initial investigation showed that the Tesla car veered off the street, collided with a tree, and was engulfed by flames. One of the men was occupying the front passenger seat, while the other one was sitting in the back seat during the accident.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk's Denial
Tesla CEO Elon Musk, in response, denied the involvement of the Tesla Autopilot system in the fatal accident through a tweet, noting that data logs showed the feature was not engaged.
Musk added that the Tesla car didn't purchase the Full Self-Driving (FSD) feature, which costs $10,000 on top of the original price of a Tesla vehicle.
The company reminds Tesla car drivers that FSD has no 100% guarantee that it is going to work in all driving scenarios and so active supervision is a must. Tesla Autopilot can also make mistakes.
Critics, however, noted that Tesla's Autopilot and FSD give drivers the impression that self-driving vehicles no longer need guidance. Cases of misuse and abuse of the feature have been prevalent on social media shared by some influencers.
In addition, Musk defended the Tesla Autopilot feature by sharing internal company data that Tesla cars with active Autopilot engaged got involved in just one road accident for every 4.19 miles driven during Q1 2021.
The tech billionaire added that the number is lower than the data gathered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), citing that cars fully operated by humans met an accident for every 484,000 miles.