Tesla Takes Rating Thumping from Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley cut its bear (worst-case) forecast on Tesla’s (NASDAQ:TSLA) stock from $97 to just $10 on Tuesday, citing concerns about the company’s increased debt load and geopolitical exposure.

In particular, Morgan Stanley analysts said the reduction was driven by concerns around Chinese demand for Tesla products.

"Our revised bear case assumes Tesla misses our current Chinese volume forecast by roughly half to account for the highly volatile trade situation in the region, particularly around areas of technology, which we believe run a high and increasing risk of government/regulatory attention," the research team, which included analyst Adam Jonas, said in the note.

Tesla shares fell to near $200 Monday after Wedbush cut its price target from $275 to $230 due to the potential impact of distractions from CEO Elon Musk’s "sci-fi projects" on the company’s ability to shore up demand for its core Model 3.

Shares closed down 2.7% Monday, closing at $205.36, and are down 38% year-to-date. During intraday trading Monday, the stock fell below $200 for the first time since December 2016. The stock was down $5.83, or 2.8%, to $199.53, soon after the market opened on Tuesday morning.

But it’s not just the Tesla bears making cautious calls. Financial services firm Baird also cut its Tesla estimates Tuesday, lowering the company’s stock to $340 from $400, while T. Rowe Price, for years one of Tesla’s biggest investors, sold around 81% of its holdings over the first three months of 2019.