Another fatal crash prompts Tesla shares sell off

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The prospect of negative publicity of the NTSB Model X crash probe is bad news for Tesla, but there are other worries for TSLA investors. Although Model 3 production holdups are an auto industry anomaly, "no vehicle company generates the kind of attention and desire that Tesla does", Ramsey said.

Late on Tuesday, Moody's Investors Service downgraded Tesla's credit rating to B3 from B2, citing "the significant shortfall in the production rate of the company's Model 3 electric vehicle".

The federal agency doesn't normally investigate fatal auto accidents, but because Tesla has an autopilot feature, it is drawing heightened scrutiny.

A 38-year-old Tesla driver was killed in the incident after the crash caused his Model X to catch on fire. Sanford C. Bernstein set a $265.00 price objective on shares of Tesla and gave the company a "neutral" rating in a research note on Wednesday.

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Tesla hadn't responded to a request for comment from FOX Business at the time of publication.

In terms of the fire that broke out after the crash, Tesla wrote its battery packs are created to help fires spread slowly in case a fire breaks out, which appeared to be the case in this instance. "That appears to be what happened here as we understand there were no occupants still in the Model X by the time the fire could have presented a risk", the company said in its blog post.

- Tesla simultaneously extended its "deepest sympathies" for a fatal, fiery crash and blamed the severity of it on the fact that a highway barrier on USA 101 in Silicon valley had either been removed or crushed without being replaced.

Earnings per Share Details of Tesla, Inc.: The EPS of TSLA is strolling at -7.5, measuring its EPS growth this year at -59.7%. Tesla has said all cars now being made at its factory in Fremont, California, including the Model 3, have the hardware needed to one day be fully self-driving. Sterling Anderson left Tesla in December 2016 and was ultimately replaced by Chris Lattner, who was hired from Apple and lasted roughly six months at Tesla. Tesla faces competition from BMW, Audi, Lexus, Honda, Mercedes, Mitsubishi, Toyota, Daimler, General Motors, Fiat, AES Energy Storage, Ford, LG, Chem, Sunrun Inc., Samsung, Vivint Solar Inc., Sungevity, Inc. and Trinity Solar. The company statement did not address if the crashed vehicle was in Autopilot mode, Reuters noted. Other carmakers are supplementing their systems with a laser-based system called lidar.

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Coming on the heels of the fatal accident involving an Uber test vehicle and a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona, last week, interest in the reliability or fallibility of autonomous driving technology is very much front and center in the news. The pedestrian died from the collision.

"The negative outlook reflects the likelihood that Tesla will have to undertake a large, near-term capital raise in order to refund maturing obligations and avoid a liquidity short-fall", the analysts wrote. Bloomberg's Model 3 tracker estimates the company may be making about 975 of the cars a week, well short of the target to build at a 2,500-unit rate by the end of this quarter.

It said Tesla's weekly production target is now 2,500 Model 3 vehicles by the end of March, down sharply from its year-earlier target of 5,000 per week by the end of 2017.

Amid all the negative sentiment surrounding Tesla stock right now, the Morgan Stanley analyst sees "one of the buying opportunities that many investors have been waiting for".

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